UHV education faculty, staff members receive honors

Teresa LeSage
Joann Olson Hsin-Hui Lin Ana Laura Pineda Dyana Cochrum

Five University of Houston-Victoria employees recently were recognized for their superior work in the university’s School of Education & Human Development for the 2013-2014 school year.

The recipients and their titles are as follows:

  • Faculty Research – Teresa LeSage Clements, associate professor of science education
  • Faculty Teaching – Joann Olson, assistant professor of adult and higher education
  • Faculty Service – Hsin-Hui Lin, associate professor of family and child development
  • Staff – Certification analyst Ana Laura Pineda and administrative assistant Dyana Cochrum

Fred Litton, dean of the UHV School of Education & Human Development, said he started the awards in 2013 because he saw many excellent examples of teaching, service and research that were not being recognized. A faculty and staff committee chooses the recipients each year.

“My congratulations to these award recipients as each one is so deserving and helps to contribute to the overall quality of the UHV School of Education & Human Development,” Litton said.

LeSage Clements was selected for the Faculty Research Award based on her participation in a $2.3 million science educator partnership funded through the National Science Foundation with Biological Sciences Curriculum Study. The study explores implementation of a two-year science education program for preservice teachers. The project involves university coursework developed by BSCS and delivered by LeSage Clements and the school districts where the students will carry out their student teaching. LeSage Clements and her students have opportunities to attend science workshops hosted by BSCS in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Her research interests have narrowed into three areas: science education, teacher retention and attrition, and cognitive psychology/personality style preferences.

“It was an honor to receive the School of Education & Human Development research award and to be recognized by my colleagues,” LeSage Clements said. “We work together as a team on many research projects, and this award would not be possible without great colleagues.”

Olson was honored for her commitment and dedication to teaching. As the primary contact for prospective adult and higher education students, she spends time responding to student phone calls and emails to help them understand the degree and choose a concentration that best fits their career goals. She participates in Sugar Land, Cinco Ranch and Victoria recruiting events to promote the program. In addition, she schedules meetings with community college advisors and administrators about the adult and higher education program.

Olson also serves as an instructor for the undergraduate “First Year Seminar” course. In spring 2013, the school moved forward in creating a professional coaching certificate. She bore the primary responsibility for working with the course designers from Emotional Intelligence Learning Systems.

In addition, Olson was a recipient of the 2013-2014 Junior Faculty Summer Research Grant for a project titled “Transition as a Time of Learning: Explorations in Adult and Higher Education.” The school is extremely proud of her achievements, Litton said.

“As a teacher who teaches primarily online, I place a high priority on maintaining meaningful interaction with my students and giving intentional feedback on their work,” she said. “It’s very encouraging to watch them grow as thinkers, writers, educators and professionals. It is humbling to receive a teaching award within the School of Education & Human Development, where I am surrounded by highly committed colleagues who are deeply devoted to training future educators.”

Lin received the Faculty Service Award for her dedication to the region, Houston community and school. Her community affiliations include membership in the Houston Area Teacher Center. Her regional service includes membership in the Association of Chinese American Professionals, and Taiwanese Students and Young Professionals Association. She serves as a mentor for the Young Professional Mentoring Program in the Association of Chinese American Professionals, and she is an advisor for teacher professional development for the Chinese Language Teachers Association of the South.

She also has served on several university committees, including UHV’s Quality Enhancement Plan Planning and Implementation Committee.

Lin said she has a favorite quote from Mahatma Gandhi that she strives to live by: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Both Pineda and Cochrum were selected to receive the school’s Staff Award. As a certification analyst, Pineda was honored because of her customer service to education students and commitment to support students, staff and faculty. Her responsibilities range from advising undergraduates to preparing portions of certification reports. She works with students in the teacher education program.

She was nominated for the award by a faculty member because she is innovative, always strives for perfection, and works well with the certification analysts and other staff, faculty and administrators.

Cochrum serves as Litton’s administrative assistant. Her duties include assisting Litton with projects, supervising two senior secretaries, assisting with annual budget requests, preparing payroll, submitting reports and documents to the UHV provost and president on behalf of the dean, and working with the offices of business services, facilities and technology services.

“Ms. Cochrum is dedicated to the school, students, faculty and staff,” said Jane Devick Fry, associate dean in the UHV School of Education & Human Development. “She always greets everyone who enters the dean’s office with a smile, and her delightful personality makes it a pleasure to work with her. She is an extraordinary person, and her industriousness for the school is immeasurable.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler