Noteworthy, Fall 2011

Humanities, Social Sciences & Arts

Dr. Sal Attardo was named dean of the College of Humanities, Social Sciences and Art. Prior to his appointment, Attardo served as interim dean and department head of literature and languages. Attardo will oversee the departments of art; history; liberal studies; literature and languages; mass media, communication and theatre; music; political science; and sociology and criminal justice.

Dr. Chris White recently received the Neill Humfeld Distinguished Professor Service Award for his role in the planning and design of the music building as well as his overall leadership in the music department.

Hansen claims 14th straight ASCAP award: Dr. Ted Hansen, A&M-Commerce music professor and jazz pianist, recently received his 14th consecutive award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Hansen’s work has been performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C. and on National Education Television. Forty-six of Hansen’s compositions have been published by the Seesaw Music Corporation, a division of Subito Music Corporation.

Science, Engineering and Agriculture

Dr. Grady Price Blount was named dean of the newly formed College of Science, Engineering and Agriculture. Blount’s previous experience includes serving as dean of the College of Sciences at Angelo State University. He will oversee the departments of agricultural science; biological and environmental sciences; engineering and technology; chemistry; computer science and information systems; mathematics; and physics and astronomy.

Engineering and Technology

The department completed four new laboratories to support the new construction engineering program. The laboratories include a materials and processes lab, soils lab, hydrology lab, and strength of materials lab.

The second annual BEST Robotics competition was held Oct. 8, 2011 in the A&M-Commerce field house. The Lion’s Pride BEST hub featured 21 area middle and high school student teams who were given six weeks to design, build, and test robots to compete in the challenge.

Seven A&M-Commerce students gained real-world engineering experience this spring thanks to a pilot program co-developed and implemented by the department and a local engineering firm. Due to the quality of their work, several of the students earned paid internships.

Agricultural Science

Fundraising efforts are underway for a covered equine arena that will improve the department’s ability to deliver equine instruction, and host various events.

Dr. Bob Williams and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program team presented six training sessions this fall on topics that included natural resource utilization and farm business management. This program is funded by a $674,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Twin Oaks Blueberry Farm hosted nearly 500 visitors this summer from Texas, Oklahoma, and beyond.

Horticulture students recently designed and installed parks and patio designs for three areas at the Texas Landscape and Nursery Association Expo in Dallas. This Expo had over 3,400 booths, over 1,000 vendors, and nearly 10,000 nursery and landscape professionals.

Computer Science

Dr. Sang C. Suh published two books on data mining and bio-medical engineering. The first book, a single authored book entitled Practical Applications of Data Mining, was published in February 2011. The 2nd printing was published in July.

Education and Human Services

Curriculum & Instruction

Dr. Wayne Linek, Dr. Mary Beth Sampson, Leslie Haas, Dana Jobe and Fern Farkas, faculty and doctoral students, presented papers at 17th European Conference on Reading in Mons, Belgium in July.

Dr. Josh Thompson will receive the Texas AEYC Advocate of the Year Award from The State of Texas of the National Association for Education of Young Children at the upcoming Texas AEYC conference.

Lisa Rhodes, Dr. Josh Thompson and Dr. Barbara Hammack co-authored the CCAMPIS, “Child Care Access Means Parents in School”, grant.


The department launched a 100 percent online master’s program in applied criminology. This 18-month program is comprised of twelve, 5-week courses and incorporates two areas of specialty: criminal justice policy and criminal justice management.


Dr. Tracy Henley was elected president of the Southwestern Psychological Association, one of the regional subdivisions of APA, our national organization.

Educational Leadership

Jim Walsh presented the session “Students, Teachers, Parents and the Law: What are the Latest Developments?”

Dr. Ada Besinaiz presented “Critical Points of Special Education – Staying in compliance, preparing for STARR testing, and developing and implementing research – based practices for students with disabilities,” on Thursday, Nov. 3.

Dr. Maria Montecel and Aurelio Montemayor presented “Keeping Students in School: What is Needed Now” at the Mesquite Metroplex Center.

Dr. Rick Lumadue presented at the IMS Global Consortium Learning Impact International Conference in Long Beach, Calif.

Dr. James Vornberg, Dr. Maria Hinojosa and Dr. Art Borgemenke presented papers at National Council of Professors of Educational Administration National Conference in Portland, Ore.

Dr. Art Borgemenke presented at the South East Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) International Conference in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Dr. Maria Hinojosa, Dr. Jay Leist and Paryina Suwannakit were published in the The Charter School Journal.

Dr. Art Borgrmenke was published in the School Leadership.

Tech Titans: The Metroplex Technology Business Council (MTBC), the largest technology trade association in Texas, named Texas A&M University-Commerce as a finalist for its 2011 Fast Tech awards, part of the annual Tech Titans awards. Tech Titans are recognized as outstanding technology companies and individuals in the North Texas area who have made significant contributions to their industries during the past year.

TAHPERD Award: Two Texas A&M University-Commerce instructors received national awards this year for excellence and leadership in recreation from the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Ms. Holly Langford and Dr. Tara Tietjen-Smith will be recognized at the 88th Annual Convention in Dallas Dec. 2, 2011. Langford will be presented with the Student Scholarship Award and Smith will receive the University Health Educator of the Year Award.

Business and Technology

Marketing and Management

Dr. John Humphreys’ work has appeared in such venues as the Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, and the Thunderbird International Business Review among others. In 2011, he received best paper proceedings from the 2011 Academy of Management annual meeting, and the Provost’s Award for Research from Texas A&M University – Commerce.

Dr. Sonia Taneja has received a number of awards for her research including an Outstanding Research Award at the 2011 International Association of Business and Public Administration Disciplines Conference in Hawaii. Her articles have appeared in such journals as the Journal of Management History, International Journal of Sustainable Strategic Management, and Industrial Management among others.

Dr. Mildred Golden Pryor received 2010 and 2011 A&M System Teaching Excellence awards (based on student input), and the 2011 Faculty Senate Outstanding Research Award. Dr. Pryor’s recent articles have appeared in such journals as the Harvard Business Review, Industrial Management, and the International Journal of Business Excellence. She has also authored the textbook Strategic Quality Management: A Strategic, Systems Approach to Continuous Improvement.

Dr. Stephanie Pane Haden has had articles accepted for publication in the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies and the Journal of Management Research among others. Dr. Pane is currently serving as the Organizational Behavior Track Chair for the 2012 Southwest Academy of Management Annual Meeting to be held in New Orleans, LA.

During the summer of 2011, Ms. Mary Anne Doty took undergraduate and graduate students to Western Europe.

In 2011, Dr. Chris Myers published “The Irony of the Eco-friendly Product as Seen through College Customer Engagement” in the Academy of Business Journal, and coauthored “Exploring the Underlying Relationship Between Crisis Management (CM) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)” for the Journal of International Management Studies. He was also named AJX Foundation Board Member of the Year.


Vice President and chief Information Officer Anwar Karim joined the university in July 2011, and will oversee Information Technology including applications development, infrastructure, support, project management, online learning platforms, web-related media, and instructional technology.

Dr. Edward Romero was named associate vice president of equal opportunity and diversity earlier this year and will head up the university’s efforts to increase diversity and cultural acceptance among the student body and university community.

Gregory Mitchell, director of libraries at Texas A&M University-Commerce, has been appointed to a second three-year term on the Library Systems Act Advisory Board by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.