Faculty Honored for Teaching, Research, Public Service

Three UCA professors were honored for their contributions in the areas of research, public service, and teaching by being named recipients of the 2012 Faculty Excellence Awards.

Dr. David Dussourd, professor of biology, Dr. Weijiu Liu, associate professor of mathematics,  and Dr. Debra Burris, associate professor of physics and astronomy,  were recognized during the annual Employee Appreciation Reception on April 25.

Dussourd was presented the Teaching Excellence Award. Dussourd has taken on the responsibility of preparing his students, as he puts it, “not just to fill test tubes, but to tackle everything from cloning to global warming.”

One of Dussourd’s goals in teaching science is to help students acquire the ability and confidence to do science, not just learn the results of science. He has been instrumental in developing an insect collection that currently contains more than 2,000 specimens.

“I am grateful for my gifted colleagues who have guided me and for my wonderful students who inspire me with their curiosity and dedication,” Dussourd said. “I am lucky to have a job where every day I can help others. Not everyone is so fortunate.”

Other nominees for the Teaching Excellence Award were Dr. Roger Pauly, associate professor of history, and Dr. Charlotte Yates, assistant professor of physical therapy.

Liu received the Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Award. Dr. Nancy Gallavan, professor of in the Department of Teaching and Learning and Dr. David Welky, associate professor of history, were also nominated for the award.

Liu’s research interests are in the area of Mathematical Biology and in Control Theory with a focus on Feedback Stabilization. He has developed models for blood glucose regulation and intercellular calcium homeostasis in living organisms.

“It is a big recognition for my research work I have done at UCA,” Liu said about the award. “It is also a big encouragement for me to continue to do my best to serve my university in teaching, research and services.”

Burris was awarded the Public Service Award. Pat Ramsey, a lecturer in the Department of History, was also nominated for the award.

Burris visits three gifted and talented classes at Atkins Middle School every week, and is a co-sponsor of Middle School Naturalists Club and Point Remove Stream team. Burris secured more than $3,000 in grants to purchase equipment and supplies for the Atkins Middle School. She was a co-developer of two AGATE Curriculum award-winning programs for six grade gifted and talented students. .

“I appreciate working at UCA because they do value service to the community here as an important facet of what we do,” Burris said. “Being able to make a difference in my home town community and being appreciated and recognized for it is truly a blessing.”