Articles tagged as: Dean of Faculties

February 1, 2013

Michael Benedik Named Dean Of Faculties And Associate Provost At Texas A&M

Dr. Michael J. Benedik has been appointed dean of faculties and associate provost at Texas A&M University, formally filling the posts he has held on an interim basis for the past seven months.

Benedik’s appointment was confirmed Thursday (Jan. 31) by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents upon the recommendation of President R. Bowen Loftin.

Michael Benedik

Michael Benedik

Congratulating Benedik on his appointment, Provost Karan L. Watson said, “I have the utmost confidence in Dr. Benedik’s ability to provide strategic leadership on faculty issues and oversee key faculty-related processes in concert with the deans of the colleges and schools. I particularly look forward to working with him on faculty development initiatives.”

Benedik, professor of biology and genetics, also serves as the university’s faculty ombuds officer and was speaker of the Texas A&M Faculty Senate in 2011-12, with a total of seven years of senate service. He joined the Texas A&M faculty in 1984 and served until 1989, when he accepted a position at the University of Houston, but returned in 2004. He was awarded an International Professorship by the American Society for Microbiology and named a 2011-2012 Regents Professor for Texas A&M University.

His teaching includes undergraduate and graduate courses in microbiology and bacterial genetics. He has chaired graduate student thesis committees resulting in completion by 14 master’s, 10 doctoral and seven postdoctoral students. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers and facilitated over $6 million in external funding.

During the eight years he has been back at Texas A&M, he has served both his department and the university extensively in many roles and on many committees. Most notably, he chaired the University Grievance Committee for four years, served on Committee on Academic Freedom, Responsibility and Tenure (CAFRT), the University Undergraduate Appeals Panel and as a Research Standards Officer.

He succeeds Antonio Cepeda-Benito, who accepted a key administrative position at another university last year.

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Media contact: Lane Stephenson, News & Information Services, at (979) 845-4662

February 10, 2012

Texas A&M Announces Tier One Program Grant Recipients

Proposals exploring the impacts of last year’s Bastrop wildfires and educating future leaders in the energy sector are among those selected for grants through Texas A&M University’s new Tier One Program (TOP) to help students expand their learning experiences.

Eleven proposals from the university’s academic colleges were selected to receive funding and are expected to serve more than 4,000 students per year. Projects selected for funding are chosen to inspire students to commit to a lifetime of learning, as well as to prepare them to solve problems that are not yet imagined, say TOP committee officials.

“The TOP program is possible due to the budget reallocation, which granted the program $1 million in recurring funding,” said Antonio Cepeda-Benito, dean of faculties and associate provost. “That money is going to improve and expand the education experience of undergraduate and post-graduate students. Additionally, the program takes full advantage of the faculty and resources of our Tier One research university, which gives our students both a competitive edge and a unique experience that couldn’t be provided at other universities.”

TOP grants — which are awarded for up to three years — help fund interdisciplinary education programs that integrate emerging scholarly work with experiential and high impact learning practices into curricular offerings for students at Texas A&M, officials note. In order to qualify for a grant, each proposal must be a joint effort between faculty members of two or more academic colleges. Additionally, the resulting learning activity must be available to more than 100 undergraduate or 50 post-graduate students.

The range of disciplines and learning opportunities within selected proposals is wide. For example, a program developed by the Colleges of Engineering and Liberal Arts will develop a  student-oriented, interdisciplinary approach to educating future leaders in the energy industry and empowering smart consumers in the smart electricity grid by offering new courses, increasing interaction between student organizations and leading a capstone project that will develop new energy technology platforms. The goal of this particular program, say organizers, is to promote the professional and leadership interests of students focusing on the energy sector, as well as raising the overall energy awareness of Texas A&M students.

Another proposal selected for funding will explore the sociological and environmental impacts of the Bastrop wildfires. Developed by the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Agriculture & Life Sciences, this program will give students the opportunity to study, observe, interview and volunteer in the areas ravaged by the fires. Organizers says students will also learn how to collect and analyze data from field observations and conduct interviews using innovative tools, as well as writing up their findings based on relevant literature.

Other funded proposals include developing an after-school program lab, an interactive arts and technology initiative and a festival that will feature audiovisual arts from around the world.

Abstracts for all the submitted proposals can be found on the Dean of Faculties website.

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Media contact: Krista Smith, News & Information Services, at (979) 845-4645

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