San Antonio – St. Mary’s Alumni Association honored six University professors for teaching excellence at the 21sth annual Faculty Appreciation and Awards Dinner on Jan. 23.

Professors from undergraduate, graduate and professional education received the 2004 Distinguished Faculty Award, presented by their respective deans, at the University Center. Distinguished Faculty among St. Mary’s five schools include:

  • Milo Colton, Ph.D., J.D., associate professor of criminal justice/criminology, School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Mary Lynne Gasaway, Ph.D., assistant professor of English/communication studies and communication arts coordinator, School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Richard Cardenas, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics, School of Science, Engineering and Technology.
  • Michael Shaub, Ph.D., CPA, Emil C.E. Jurica professor of accounting, School of Business and Administration.
  • Ana Novoa, J.D., professor of law and acting director of the clinical program, School of Law.
  • H. Ray Wooten, Ph.D., associate professor of counseling and graduate program director for counseling and human services, Graduate School.

Brothers and priests of the Society of Mary (the Marianists) brought Catholic education to San Antonio in 1852 when they opened St. Mary’s Institute downtown. Today St. Mary’s is the oldest and largest Catholic university in Texas and the Southwest, serving more than 4,100 students of religious faiths and cultural backgrounds. Personal attention and powerful academic programs are historical strengths. The student-to-faculty ratio is 15 to 1.

Colton is a former two-term Iowa state senator (D-Sioux City) in the mid-1980s, attended the Iowa presidential caucuses, and earned his law degree from the University of Iowa during a 15-year residence in the state. In addition, Colton, who joined St. Mary’s in 2001, has been very active in American Indian affairs, serving as executive director of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska from 1992 to 1993; consultant to American Indian communities through the University of Iowa from 1989 to 1992; site coordinator at Little Priest Tribal College at the Winnebago Indian Reservation in Nebraska during 1977 to 1980, when he also taught college courses on the Winnebago and Omaha Reservations. He was in the U.S. Air Force from 1962 to 1968.

Hill is a St. Mary’s alumnae, with two master’s degrees and a bachelor’s. She earned her doctorate at Tulane University in New Orleans in 1999 and is widely published in the humanities. She was a lecturer, then a Catholic teaching fellow at St. Mary’s, before becoming an an assistant professor in 2000. That same year she was a co-leader of the London Study Abroad program for undergraduates. Hill also won the Marianist Heritage Award in 2000.

Cardenas joined St. Mary’s faculty in 2000 and earned his doctorate from Texas Tech University. In 2003, he was awarded a Department of Defense instrumentation grant, along with a research contract with Hawthorne and York Limited for software development. He is the originator of the biophysics degree option for St. Mary’s physics department.

Shaub has spent the past 15 years researching accounting ethics issues, especially in large accounting firms. Currently, his research interests are trust, suspicion and professional skepticism in auditor-client relations. He joined St. Mary’s in 2000, and earned his doctorate at Texas Tech.

Novoa was in private practice from 1982 to 1991, when she began her St. Mary’s career as a supervising attorney in the Civil Justice Clinic. She teaches courses in family law, state pretrial practice and jurisprudence. Novoa, who earned her juris doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin, is the recipient of the 2004 Marianist Heritage Award.

Wooten, who has taught at St. Mary’s for six years, is a former collegiate football coach and administrator of psycho-spiritual workshops including a variety of experiential and contemplative activities for self-exploration. Among his expertise, hypnotherapy and breathwork.

The Community Service Award was presented to Melba Fisher, assistant to the president of St. Mary’s and the Board of Trustees, and David Simpson, posthumously, who was the vice president for administration and finance from 2001 until his accidental death in October 2003.

Fisher will retire in February after following 41 years’ service to her alma mater. She began her career at St. Mary’s in 1963 and has been tireless in her devotion to the University and Marianist community. Fisher, who has served five of St. Mary’s 12 presidents, was a longtime co-sponsor of the Marianist Forum and coordinator of the President’s ambassadors. In 1983, she was the first woman to receive the Marianist Heritage Award. In just two short years, Simpson was a catalyst at St. Mary’s, including the Gateway to Historic St. Mary’s campus beautification project.

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