2015 Faculty Awards

Date Published: 
November 16, 2015

The William States Lee College of Engineering presented its 2015 Excellence in Teaching Awards and recognized length-of-service anniversaries, and reappointments and promotions at its faculty meeting on Nov. 12, 2015. The winners of the Excellence in Teaching awards were Engineering Technology and Construction Management faculty members Dr. Thomas Nicholas for undergraduate teaching and Dr. Don Chen for graduate teaching.

In presenting the awards, Lee College of Engineering Dean Bob Johnson said Dr. Nicholas was by definition a student-centered instructor. “He has a genuine concern for the students, and has made significant contributions to his department,” Johnson said, “including curriculum development, course development, recruitment and advising student organizations.”

The award nomination for Dr. Nicholas stated – “Dr. Nicholas is truly concerned for the success of his students. He advises individual students regularly, as well as mentors senior design teams. He is commonly sought out by students to be their senior design mentor, because of his dedication to leading and guiding them, his outstanding technical knowledge, and his genuine interest in their academic and professional success.”


In recognizing Dr. Chen for the Graduate Award in Teaching Excellence, Johnson said, “Comments from students, faculty and staff alike all describe Dr. Chen as being ‘well prepared and organized.’ His enthusiasm and determination encourage his students to strive for excellence.”

The award nomination for Dr. Chen stated – “He has the ability to teach his students real-world applications and he actively engages everyone in the classroom. He advised and served as a committee member for over 13 M.S. students and eight Ph.D. students. He is an active participant in curriculum development and has worked continually to improve the graduate programs in ETCM. Dr. Chen understands his students and their different academic and cultural backgrounds, and uses this knowledge to build a successful teaching style.”

Reappointment and promotion announcements included:

Reappointment as Assistant Professor

  • Tara Cavalline, Engineering Technology & Construction Management
  • Babak Parkhideh, Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Alireza Tabarraei, Mechanical Engineering & Engineering Science

Promotion to Associate Professor with Permanent Tenure

  • Don Chen, Engineering Technology & Construction Management

Promotion to Full Professor

  • Jiang (Linda) Xie, Electrical & Computer Engineering

Length-of-service anniversaries recognized included:

  • Ron Priebe, 45 years of service
  • Rajaram Janardhanam, 35 years of service
  • Jay Wu, 35 years of service
  • Farid Tranjan, 30 years of service
  • David Young, 30 years of service
  • Martin Kane, 20 years of service
  • Mohammad-Ali Hasan, 20 years of service
  • Thomas Weldon, 20 years of service
  • Scott Smith, 20 years of service
  • Harish Cherukuri, 20 years of service
  • Patty Tolley, 20 years of service
  • James Bowen, 20 years of service