Dean’s Accolade Recognizes Faculty Impact

Three College of Liberal Arts faculty members will receive the inaugural Dean’s Accolade award at a special ceremony next week.

Lance Liguez (Communication), Dr. James Warren (English) and Dr. Jeff Witzel (Linguistics & TESOL) will each be recognized for their research expertise and teaching abilities at the 2013 acCOLAdes, a liberal arts awards ceremony Thursday, April 18 in the Irons Recital Hall.

The Dean’s Accolade recognizes faculty who have inspired students to create work of exceptional merit, work that goes beyond the ordinary expectations for class assignments, said Dr. Beth Wright, Dean of Liberal Arts. These works may include creative projects, community projects and research projects at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

“The primary criterion is the connection between the faculty member’s scholarly and creative abilities and their impact on the educational and professional development of students at the University of Texas at Arlington,” Wright said.


Liguez, Broadcast Lecturer and faculty director for UTA Radio, is honored for his work with broadcast students that has resulted in numerous awards in national competitions from the College Broadcasters, Inc., the National Broadcast Society, the Radio Mercury Awards, and the College Music Journal. Before joining UT Arlington, Liguez worked for more than two decades in radio and television, and has won multiple awards for his reporting from the Texas Associated Press, including a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award.


Warren, Assistant Professor of English, is feted for his work with graduate students who are high school teachers in Mansfield, Grapevine-Colleyville, Lancaster, Dallas and Fort Worth. The impact of his work is evident in the stronger performance of the students’ students: passing rates in one class went from 60 percent to more than 90 percent. Warren’s scholarship centers on high school students’ college readiness in academic reading and writing. As a post-doctoral fellow, he was a consultant for the San Antonio ISD.


Witzel, Assistant Professor of Linguistics, supervises service learning and internships by the department’s graduate students. He studies bilingual sentence processing and is part of a U.S. Department of Defense grant on bilingual learning. This spring, 16 students from Witzel’s linguistics course assisted 150 community members in multiple venues, including UT Arlington’s English Language Institute, Arlington Reads, UT Southwestern’s International Office, literacy centers, nonprofit agencies, churches, public schools and community colleges. One of the students he supervised, Carolyn Jones, who earned her graduate certificate and MA degree in TESOL and conducted literacy classes at the Vickery Meadow learning center in Dallas, was named the 2012 Literacy Texas Volunteer of the Year.

Wright said she is proud to honor faculty members who make such an impact in the classroom.

“This award is such a powerful demonstration of the connection between the role of our faculty as disciplinary specialists and their role as gifted teachers and mentors,” she said.


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