Noteworthy spring 2012

Dr. R. N. Singh, professor of sociology and criminal justice, was honored as a Regents Professor April 19 by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. The award is the highest honor a faculty member can receive from the A&M System. Singh has a doctorate from Mississippi State University, and his research interests include suicide terrorism, family violence, marriage relationships, and criminal law. His book, Terrorism: Its Global Overview, Explanation, and Prevention was published in April. Previous publications include Poverty and Interpersonal Violence (2008), Preventing Suicide Terrorism: Opportunities and Challenges (2007), and Assertiveness in Marital Relationships Among Asian Indians in the United States (2006).

Dr. Dan Edelman (right)’s accounting ethics class at the Universities Center of Dallas was treated to a guest lecture by Mr. Clint McDonnough (left), Dallas managing partner for Ernst & Young LLP. Mr. McDonnough shared experiences from his 35-year career with Ernst & Young, and emphasized the importance of integrity in business. He also reminded students that the three greatest assets of any company are its people, its reputation and its clients.

Alumni Ambassador Forum

In March, A&M-Commerce Alumni Relations and the division of academic student affairs proudly welcomed 34 graduates back to campus. Each graduate was hand-selected by their academic department to be named a 2012 Alumni Ambassador. Each ambassador worked with their academic department to deliver a lecture or performance, allowing the ambassador to interact with students. This award is the highest honor a department can bestow upon one of its graduates. After 29 years, the Alumni Ambassador Forum has recognized 809 Ambassadors, each with their own unique story of success.

1st Row: Dr. Gail Johnson, Kathy Beshirs,
Dr. Stanley Holmes, Dr. Kim Wommack,
Dr. Brooke Ludwig, Brian English, Dottie McIntyre, Elva Resendez, Jennifer Hougham, Gloria Espinosa, Anna Griffiths, Dr. Jonne Akens, Dr. Sal Attardo, Dr. Larry Lemanski

2nd Row: John F. Williams, Dr. Aaron Adair, Vivian Dorsett, Jim Babor, John G. Self, David Danforth, Leslie Milder, Dr. Kara Bickel, Dr. Kim Klakamp, Catherine Johnston, Dr. Deborah Brennan, Larry Bugg, Dr. Edward Jones, Dr. Hal Langford

3rd Row: Mike Smith, Tracy Tipping, José Estrada, Merry Ressler, Cpt. Sara Hurst, Conner John, Rapheal Holder, Darla Seible, Racquel Washington, Dr. Phil Gilbreath


Dr. Hal Langford, dean of the College of Business and Entrepreneurship, taught the first business administration course at International Burch University in Sarajevo. The preparatory course applied business research investigates the techniques of the research process as applied to business. Experience is gained in defining research problems and in collecting, analyzing, recording and interpreting data.


Dr. Daniel Edelman, professor of accounting and department head, led a group of students to Beijing, China in May 2011. He taught A&M-Commerce students and Chinese students about international accounting and international taxes. Dr. Edelman also taught graduate Chinese students about venture capitalism and traveled to Belgrade, Serbia to teach advanced managerial accounting to M.B.A. students. Last year, he received a best paper award and a research award from the A&M-Commerce faculty senate.

Economics and Finance

The economics and finance department hosted the first Fullbright exchange faculty from China, Dr. Honyung Ma, professor of economics in the College of Management and Economics from the China University of Geosciences- Beijing. He was on campus for one year. Dr. Steven Shwiff returns in June from a three-month faculty exchange at the university in China where he is teaching a course in environmental economics to about 20 Chinese students. The faculty exchange is from March 1 to May 31. Steve’s wife accompanied him, and she is teaching a class in conversational English to about 30 Chinese graduate students during their visit. This was Shwiff’s ninth trip to China since 2001. He also had a paper published in China entitled “Economics of Mineral Extraction in China.” Shwiff’s also spent three weeks in Thailand with alumni Cherasak and Patcharin Charoensukmongkol and Kashi and Tommi Jayaraman.

Dr. Nathan Harness will be teaching in London for Summer II
in 2012.

Marketing and Management

The marketing and management department formed partnerships with Belgrade Graduate Business Programs in Belgrade, Serbia and International Burch University representing Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina and International institute for Higher Education in Morocco in North Africa. These partnerships position A&M-Commerce both in Middle Europe and the continent of Africa with a representation that reflects the department’s additional and supplemental implementation of the university’s global initiative within its strategic plan. Within these partnership agreements half of the courses for the completion of an M.B.A. or Master’s of Science in Marketing will be conducted on premises at the foreign university by department faculty.

Dr. Lloyd M. Basham, assistant professor and department head for marketing and management, presented “Transformational Leadership Characteristics Necessary for Today’s Leaders In Higher Education” at the 2011 Barcelona European Business and Economics Conference in Barcelona, Spain hosted by The Clute Institute. The research and study addressed the significance and current widespread appeal of transformational leadership and its practical application to higher education. The presentation paper has been peer reviewed and selected for publication.

Dr. Basham also taught a second course, marketing management, with Dr. Mario Hayek, which is the comprehensive study of the effective applications of marketing strategies in international organizations where special case analysis related to the region. Current professional literature was utilized with students providing recommendations and solutions to issues and problems with the introduction of a product from the local region.

Dr. John Humphries, taught management skills development, which provides an in-depth seminar emphasizing the development of the skills and knowledge required for successful managerial performance. It focuses on such areas as developing awareness, creative problem solving, supportive communication, the use of power and influence, motivation techniques and managing conflict.


Psychology, Counseling and Special Education

Dr. Lavelle Hendricks was elected president of the Texas Council of Faculty Senates. The group represents 39 public colleges and universities in Texas. His term is from 2012 to 2016.

Dr. Charles Keenan has been invited to present at the Dallas FBI Field Office in October 2012 to the FBI Hostage Negotiator’s Group.

Dr. Carmen Salazar has been named a Fellow of the American Counseling Association (ACA). The honor is reserved for ACA members who have made significant and unique contributions in professional practice, scientific achievement and governance, or teaching and training, and who have made important contributions to the counseling profession. Dr. Salazar was presented with the honor in March 2012 at the ACA’s annual conference in San Francisco, Calif. This is the first time in the more than 50 years in the history of the counseling program at Texas A&M University-Commerce that a member of its faculty has received this honor.

Curriculum and Instruction

Dr. Gil Naizer was named as a finalist for the Metroplex Technology Business Council’s Tech Titan of the Future award for their engineering summer camps. The award recognizes educators and education programs that encourage and support students to choose engineering and technology career fields.

Educational Leadership

Dr. Casey Brown was honored in a tribute issue of the journal, School Leadership Review. Dr. Brown was also awarded the Certificate of Excellence for Texas Council of Professors of Educational Administration Presidency.

Dr. Rick Lumadue received The Sue Espinosa Technology Award.

Health and Human Performance

Dr. Tara Tietjen-Smith received the University Health Educator of the Year Award from the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance as well as the Southern District of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. She also presented a paper in March at the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Dance in Boston, Mass.

Dr. Gwendolyn Weatherford received her Ph.D. from Texas Woman’s University in December 2011.

Ms. Billie Abell, administrative assistant, is a member of the 2012 Commerce Leadership Institute class.

Dr. Sandy Kimbrough has written an extensive practice/review test for the Texas Education Agency.

Dr. Betty A. Block, Dr. Gwendolyn Weatherford, and Dr. Tietjen-Smith presented papers at the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education Conference in San Diego in January.

Dr. Block is now the vice president-elect for the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education. She and Dr. Tietjen-Smith presented in February at the Southern Association for The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) in Orlando, Fla.

Dr. Block had three scholarly papers published: “Supercomplexity in Higher Education Kinesiology,” “A Critical Thinking-Based Approach to Teaching University Wellness Courses,” and “The Adapted Dance Process: Planning, Partnering and Performing.”

Social Work

The social work department continued to implement two federally funded grants: Project RESPECT to prevent sexual assault on campus and Project PRIDE to provide mentoring services by masters of social work interns to incarcerated juveniles.

The department hosted the PAL (Preparation for Adult Living) Conference for 75 high school youth in foster care throughout the state. This two-day conference provided a “college experience” to encourage youth to finish school and attend college.

Dr. Jaimie Page presented her paper, “The Impact of Research Addressing Wrongful Convictions” at the European International Social Work Research Conference in Basel, Switzerland in March. She was also an invited speaker to present her paper, “Psychological Consequences of Wrongful Conviction” at the March 2012 National Innocence Network Conference in Kansas City, Mo.



The history department hosted the 2012 Northeast Texas Regional Conference of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society in April at the Sam Rayburn Student Center. The program included 22 panels of student papers composed of two sessions in the morning and one in the afternoon. The keynote speaker was Dr. Bruce Brasington from the history department at West Texas A&M University. Dr. Sharon Kowalsky, advisor for the Texas A&M University-Commerce chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, coordinated the event.

Literature & Languages

Dr. Robert Rodriguez presented a conference paper in Brazil in Summer 2011.

Dr. Lucy Pickering, associate professor and director of the Applied Linguistics Lab (ALL), joined Texas A&M University-Commerce in 2010. A native of the United Kingdom, Dr. Pickering taught in England before earning her M.A. and Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics at the University of Florida. As director of the ALL, Dr. Pickering oversees a venue of innovative research in linguistics.

The ALL maintains collaborative partnerships with Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) Laboratoire Langue et Parole in Aix en Provence, France and The Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA) at Georgia Institute of Technology. Current projects include the Texas A&M University-Commerce AAC Workplace Corpus Project, which focuses on the needs of workers using augmentative and alternative communication devices in the workplace.

Mass Media, Communication, and Theatre

Mr. Jim Anderson’s show Breaking Up is Hard to Do was performed April 24-29.

Mr. Noah Nelson was hired as Distinguished Lecturer. He is an Emmy award winner, a former NBC news anchor, public relations and communications professional.

Dr. John Hanners retires in May.

RTV upgraded its television facilities with two new studio sets donated by WFAA, Channel 8 in Dallas, and other major new equipment.


Dr. Chris White, department head, presented a paper in a session for the convention of the Southwestern Division of the American Choral Directors. The paper, “Luhring’s Lampshade Revisited,” examined a mnemonic for organizing and teaching a comprehensive history of choral literature. Dr. White was invited to present after submitting the paper for review.

The A&M-Commerce Chorale and Wind Ensemble performed in Carnegie Hall in New York City on Feb.28. The wind ensemble conducted by Mr. Scott Atchison and Mr. Phil Clements opened the performance. To close the first half, the wind ensemble’s Dr. Brian Zator performed a concerto for the band and marimba. After intermission, the chorale sang under the direction of Dr. Randall Hooper. Then, to conclude the concert the two ensembles combined for the world premiere of a new symphony. In attendance were three of the program’s composers, President Dan Jones Ph.D., Vice Presidents Larry Lemanski Ph.D. and Randy Van Deven P.E., numerous alumni, patrons, and dignitaries.

Dr. Luis Sanchez, assistant professor of music, was designated as a Steinway Artist by Steinway Pianos in March. This selection comes after a rigorous international application, audition, and selection process—thousands of pianists are considered each year, but only few are selected.

“This designation by the world’s premiere piano maker ranks Luis among the most talented and revered pianists throughout the globe,” said Chris White, head of the music department. “As a Steinway Artist, Luis greatly increases the prestige with which the faculty is held among the music community.”

Sanchez will immediately begin to attract greater interest among undergraduate and graduate students. The opportunity to study with a Steinway Artist is compelling to serious keyboard students.

Dr. Madeline Justice was recognized with the 2012 Personal Excellence Award at the 9th Annual Institute for Emotional Intelligence in San Antonio. Dr. Justice was cited for significant professional contributions in bringing transformative emotional intelligence to students, educators, and teacher preparation programs. She researched and integrated positive assessment and emotional intelligence content into teacher preparation programs to help teachers meet the educational needs of the students of today and tomorrow. She has presented featured programs and shared research with state, national, and international participants at annual institutes and conferences. As a leading advocate for transformative emotional intelligence to enhance teacher preparation, Dr. Justice indicates from research the need to enhance the teaching profession in meeting the challenges for schools and communities. Her collaborative and caring styles of teaching exemplify scholarship of teaching, learning, and training with emotional intelligence.

Political Science

Dr. JoAnn DiGeorgio-Lutz, department head, took a group of six students to Cambodia and Vietnam in Summer 2011. Dr. Lutz is also the recipient of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship to Amman, Jordan from January to July 2008 and recipient of the J. William Fulbright Specialist Grant from Dewey International University for Cambodia from December 2010 to January 2011.

Sociology & Criminal Justice

The Master of Science in Applied Criminology (M.S.A.C.) has more than 25 students moving through the program in its first year. The M.A.S.C. is a graduate program that takes students 18 months to earn a master’s degree. A number of students in the program or entering the program are already professionals who will use the degree to strengthen their professional and managerial skills. The program offers students an opportunity to increase their knowledge while at the same time developing a rapport with a number of other professionals in the field or who are entering the field of criminology and/or criminal justice.

Dr. Yvonne Villanueva-Russell serves as the graduate advisor for sociology majors, and she has done very well in assisting our students in their research projects and in graduating.


Agricultural Sciences

Dr. Jose Lopez recently published an article in the Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development entitled “Understanding Mexican Meat Consumption and Imports at the Table Cut Level.” The article is about a study that helps United States exporters in estimating future and current Mexican meat demand at the table cut level. It is the first to consider eighteen meat cuts and analyzes Mexican consumers’ responsiveness to price changes.

Computer Science & Information Systems

The department has developed a prototype of a personal health information system that will assist health care consumers in receiving medical advice. This project is being carried out under the able guidance of Dr. Sang C. Suh and Dr. Varadraj P. Gurupur in collaboration with Dr. Richard R. Selvaggi from Live Oak Professional Center in Commerce. The project uses Dr. Suh’s expertise in data mining, Dr. Gurupur’s expertise in software architecture, and Dr. Selvaggi’s vast experience treating patients to develop state of the art technologies available to computer scientists. A research paper describing the central idea of this project has been published with the Journal of Medical Systems. The research group is currently developing an application that will provide assistance to patients suffering from lung cancer.

Dr. Nikolay Sirakov attended the Southwest Symposium on Image Analysis and Interpretation in April where he presented his paper, “Weapon Ontology Annotation Using Boundary Describing Sequences.”

Engineering and Technology

Dr. Brent Donham was named as a finalist for The Metroplex Technology Business Council’s Tech Titan of the Future Award for the engineering summer camps sponsored by the department. The award recognizes educators and education programs that encourage and supports students to choose engineering and technology career fields.

The Master of Science in Technology Management program experienced unprecedented growth over the past academic year. The program integrates technology, applied engineering, project management, cost engineering, quality, business management, and leadership to prepare students for a wide variety of business, construction and industrial fields.

The department hosted Engineers Day Feb. 22 in conjunction with National Engineer’s Week Feb. 19-25 to celebrate developments and advancement in engineering. The event was led by Dr. E. Delbert Horton, and senior industrial engineering students assisted in the planning and execution to make the celebration a success.

The department also hosted the BIM [Building Information Modeling] 4 and 5D Scheduling and Project Delivery Platform Symposium in March (above). The event was led by Dr. Gregory Wilson, and construction students assisted in the planning and execution of the symposium.


Dr. Yelin Ou has been working actively in the frontier research in the study of the geometry of biharmonic maps and submanifolds. His exciting achievements include the solution to a mathematics conjecture made by three European mathematicians that had been unsolved for 10 years. His results have been used, cited and announced in books and papers by many peers around the world.

Dr. Eileen Faulkenberry received a grant to work with 4th through 8th grade math teachers in the region on the topics of rational numbers and measurement.

The department celebrated Pi Day March 14. It had a pi(e) bake sale March 22 and created a Pi chain (shown above) to represent the digits of Pi. Each digit is represented by a specific color of paper. There were more than 750 digits of pi represented in the more than 200 foot chain.

Physics & Astronomy

Dr. Carlos Bertulani and Dr. Jorge Piekarewicz of Florida State University finished editing the book “Neutron Star Crust” in February. The book will be published by Nova Science in New York in the summer and is intended to be a source of knowledge for senior researchers and advanced students working in nuclear astrophysics.


The Faculty Senate established the David Crenshaw Outstanding Department Head Award in December 2011. (l-r) Dr. Dan Jones, president, Dr. Derald Harp, president elect of the Faculty Senate, and Dr. David Crenshaw.

Fall 2011

Dr. Derald Harp The James “Jim” Vornberg Award for Teaching

Dr. Jason Davis The Steven S. Shwiff Award for Innovation in Learning

Dr. Patsy Boshears The R.N. Singh Award for Service

Mr. Chuck Nash The Augustine “Chuck” Arize Award of Imagination in Teaching

Dr. Michael Hanna The Dev R. Chopra Award for Research

Dr. Bob Williams (Ag) The Richard Lampe Award for Integrity in Education

Dr. Kathryn Jacobs The Madeline Justice “Unfettered Thought” Award

Dr. Brent Donham The Trezzie Pressley “Ceaseless Industry” Award

Dr. Shulan Lu The Donna Dunbar-Odom “Fearless Investigation” Award

Dr. Brenda Moore The David Crenshaw Outstanding Department Head Award

Dr. Dan Jones The Jerry Morris Outstanding Administrator Award

Spring 2012

Dr. Chip Fox The James “Jim” Vornberg Award for Teaching

Dr. Kay Hong-Nam The Steven S. Shwiff Award for Innovation in Learning

Dr. John Ballotti The R.N. Singh Award for Service

Dr. Yvonne Villanueva Russell The Augustine “Chuck” Arize Award of Imagination in Teaching

Dr. Yelin Ou The Dev R. Chopra Award for Research

Dr. Chuck Keenan The Richard Lampe Award for Integrity in Education

Dr. Jeff Kopachena The Madeline Justice “Unfettered Thought” Award

Dr. Bob Williams The Trezzie Pressley “Ceaseless Industry” Award

Dr. Maria Hinojosa The Donna Dunbar-Odom “Fearless Investigation” Award

Dr. Martha Foote The David Crenshaw Outstanding Department Head Award

Dr. Grady Blount The Jerry Morris Outstanding Administrator Award