HSC Teaching and Research Award Ceremony

Texas Tech System Chancellor Tedd Mitchell addresses Tech Health Sciences Center faculty and staff during the 2020 Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching and Research Awards ceremony. Three faculty members were presented with awards at the ceremony, which began at 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, at the Academic Event Center at the Tech HSC.

As a way to recognize the teaching and research efforts at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, three faculty were given the 2020 Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching and Research Awards Thursday.

Tech System Chancellor Tedd Mitchell presented a research award to Thomas Abbruscato, chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy and associate dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and teaching awards to Vadivel Ganapathy, chair of the Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry in the School of Medicine, and Sherry Sancibrian, associate chair of the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences in the School of Health Professions.

The ceremony, which took place at 9 a.m. on Feb. 13 in the Academic Event Center on the Tech HSC campus, consisted of Mitchell giving a medallion to each of the award recipients.

"Here at the Health Sciences Center, we have faculty members that have taken, what was no doubt at the beginning, a gift in an area," Mitchell said. "A gift of inquiry or whatever it may be, so they can work and they work and they work, and every last one of us in this room and all of the students that will come through here afterwards and all of the staff and faculty who will come here afterwards are all indebted to them for what it is they've done."

Tech HSC Interim President Lori Rice-Spearman said the Chancellor's Council Distinguished Awards are a Tech System tradition.

"Our chancellor reached out actually many years ago and wanted to form something that really recognized the best of the best in all of our universities," she said. "So, each university nominates individuals, and then the chancellors selects those individuals really based across a number of things." 

Award recipients are nominated based on three areas: research, distinguished service and teaching, Rice-Spearman said. Regarding the Tech HSC nominees, she said the university wanted to find inspirational nominees for the teaching award and individuals who have made a significant contribution in their field for the research award.  

Before handing the medallion to each recipient, Mitchell listed the recipients' achievements.

Regarding Abbruscato, Mitchell said his research consists of figuring out treatment options for stroke patients. 

Students have recognized and appreciated Ganapathy's efforts to help students leave a class with a clear understanding of the material, Mitchell said. Sancibrian has received the President's Excellence in Teaching Award, once in 1996 and once in 2007, and the Tech HSC Student Government Association has recognized her 11 times with the Outstanding Faculty award.

In addition to the medallion the recipients received, Rice-Spearman said they will get a monetary award from the System office.

The monetary award is a $5,000 stipend, according to a Tech HSC news release.

"There's an endowment in place that allows for that," Rice-Spearman said regarding the monetary award.

Despite what the recipients will get, Rice-Spearman said being able to recognize the achievements of faculty and staff at the Tech HSC is a highlight of her career.

"I've been with the university for over 30 years, and I've had an opportunity to work with all three of these individuals, and it is a privilege to be able to honor individuals who commit their careers to our university and who exemplify our values, how we want to teach, the contributions we want to make with research and then their service to not only the professions but to the communities in which they serve."

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