Accolades: Faculty and Student Researchers Receive Awards

Accolades is an occasional News Center feature that highlights recent accomplishments of UT Dallas faculty and students. To submit items for consideration, contact your school’s communication manager.

Associate Professor Honored by Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance

Dr. Susan Williams McElroy

Dr. Susan Williams McElroy, recipient of the 2017 President's Award from the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Greater Dallas and Vicinity, stands with (at left) Dr. Stephen C. Nash Sr., IMA president; and the Rev. David Wilson, IMA treasurer/banquet chairman.
(Courtesy of IMA/Wallace Photos)

The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Greater Dallas and Vicinity (IMA) honored Dr. Susan Williams McElroy, associate professor of economics, for her contributions as the organization’s volunteer economist-in-residence.

The IMA presented its 2017 President’s Award to McElroy at its recent 52nd Annual Human Relations Awards Banquet. McElroy has advised IMA leadership on its economic agenda and serves as chair of the organization’s Economic Advisory Committee. In addition, she leads an effort to develop a capitol-building program in underserved communities.

"It is humbling to serve an organization like IMA given the organization's scope and role in providing support services for underserved communities," McElroy said. "It is truly an honor and a privilege to be recognized by IMA."

The IMA, comprising more than 300 interfaith Dallas-Fort Worth churches, provides underserved communities with an array of services, such as food pantries, utility bill assistance, ministering to the incarcerated, financial literacy training and educational attainment enrichment.


Associate Dean Recognized for Criminology Research

Dr. Alex Piquero

Dr. Alex Piquero

The Western Society of Criminology (WSC) presented its 2017 President’s Award to Dr. Alex Piquero, Ashbel Smith Professor of Criminology and associate dean of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences. The award honors substantial contributions to the field of criminology and a positive influence on the current WSC president’s career.

Dr. Matthew Hickman, associate professor at Seattle University and past president of the organization, presented the award to Piquero at the WSC’s February conference. Hickman met Piquero 20 years ago at Temple University, where he was a doctoral student and Piquero was an assistant professor.

“Alex has always been there for advice, guidance and collaboration on research projects throughout my career,” Hickman said. “I am just one of the hundreds of students Alex has mentored over the years. His influence on our field is deep and broad, not only in terms of his research but also in terms of his mentoring of young scholars.”


Undergraduate Researchers Shine at Symposium

Chemistry students Gino Occialini and Annie Yang with their faculty advisers Dr. Ron Smaldone (left) and Dr. Mihaela Stefan (right)

Chemistry seniors Gino Occhialini and Annie Yang, Outstanding Presentation award winners, stand with their faculty advisors, Dr. Ron Smaldone (left) and Dr. Mihaela Stefan (right).

Several UT Dallas students were honored last fall at the Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium held at Rice University.

The annual event gives a platform to undergraduates in several science and engineering fields to share their original research in oral presentations and to meet like-minded students from other universities. Several hundred students from around the country participated in divisions including biosciences, synthetic biology, chemistry and nanomaterials, physics and astronomy, earth science, mechanical engineering, and electrical and computer engineering.

During each session, six students gave presentations, and one student received the award for Outstanding Presentation of the session. UT Dallas students who earned these awards included:

  • Electrical engineering senior Hans Ajieren, electrical and computer engineering section.
  • Biological sciences senior Karthik Hullahalli, biosciences section.
  • Chemistry senior Gino Occhialini, covalent organic frameworks section.
  • Chemistry senior Annie Yang, polymer chemistry section.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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