Faculty, researchers honored at UAH awards ceremony


Dr. Christina Steidl, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, receives the University Distinguished Teaching Award from Provost Dr. Christine Curtis.

Michael Mercier | UAH

Dr. Christina Steidl, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, received the University Distinguished Teaching Award; Dr. Nikolai Pogorelov, a professor in the Department of Space Science, was honored with the University Distinguished Research Award; and Dr. James Hadaway, a principal research scientist in the Center for Applied Optics, was the recipient of the University Researcher of the Year Award at the Faculty Spring Awards Ceremony and Reception held Friday, April 14, in the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Student Services Building.

Dr. Gary Zank, director of the university’s Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research (CSPAR) and chair of its Department of Space Science, was honored for his election as a full member of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Dr. Zank is a prolific, internationally known space physics researcher and scholar, authoring or co-authoring over 300 published manuscripts in the areas of the physics of the solar wind, especially its interaction with the local interstellar medium, the acceleration and transport of energetic particles, turbulence and shock waves,” UAH President Dr. Robert Altenkirch said. The Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama on April 7 named Dr. Zank the first University of Alabama Trustee Professor in recognition of his accomplishments.

“The faculty at The University of Alabama in Huntsville is dedicated to teaching and mentoring our students and engaging in state-of-the-art research and scholarship. It is an honor to recognize their achievements through the University Distinguished Teaching and Research Awards for Excellence in teaching and research,” said UAH Provost Dr. Christine Curtis. “The award winners’ accomplishments show superior dedication and innovation in teaching and commitment to discovery and the furthering of knowledge.” 

It’s important to recognize excellence within UAH’s faculty and research staff and to reward that recognition publically, said Dr. Ray Vaughn, UAH vice president for research and economic opportunity. 

“The Offices of the Provost and Research work together to make these awards available and to host a public recognition ceremony,” Dr. Vaughn said. “We are very proud of the accomplishments by our faculty and research staff and this event is one small way that we can show our appreciation.”

UAH’s College Outstanding Faculty Awards honor faculty members in each of the university’s colleges who have outstanding performance in the three areas of teaching, research and service, Dr. Curtis said. 

“We recognize these faculty for their contributions in each of these areas,” she said, “and for their dedication to teaching our students, to discovering and creating knowledge, and to serving their college, our university and the community.”


College Outstanding Faculty Award recipients were:

  • Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences – Dr. Nick Jones
  • Business Administration – Dr. Jeet Gupta
  • Engineering – Dr. Sarma Rani
  • Nursing – Dr. Ann Bianchi
  • Science – Dr. Bernhard Vogler

University Research and Creative Activity Mentor Award recipients were:

  • Nursing – Dr. Ellise Adams
  • Science – Dr. Gordon MacGregor

Recognized for achieving tenure and promotion to associate professor were:

  • Dr. Pavica Sheldon
  • Dr. Chad Thomas
  • Dr. Joseph Conway
  • Dr. Ryan Weber
  • Dr. George Nelson
  • Dr. Sarma Rani
  • Dr. Milton Shen
  • Dr. Henry Alewine
  • Dr. Phillip Bitzer
  • Dr. Bruce Stallsmith
  • Dr. Leland Cseke

Recognized for promotion to professor were:

  • Dr. Nick Jones
  • Dr. Kathryn Jill Johnson
  • Dr. Wai Mok

Recognized for patent awards were:

  • Dr. Reza Adhami, College of Engineering/Electrical and Computer, “Systems and Methods for User Authentication Using Eye Movement and Pupil Size Change Matching.”
  • Dr. Junpeng Guo, College of Engineering/Electrical and Computer, “CIP Nanostructure Diffraction Gratings for Integrated Spectroscopy and Sensing.”
  • Dr. James Smith, College of Engineering/Chemical, "Hydroxyethylhydrazinium Nitrate-Acetone Formulations and Methods of Making Hydroxyethylhydrazinium Nitrate-Acetone Formulations."


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