Alumni Association honors 2016 Distinguished Faculty Award winners

The St. Mary’s Alumni Association will recognize eight faculty members during its annual Faculty Appreciation and Awards Dinner on Friday, Jan. 22, at Oak Hills Country Club.

“We are proud of all of our outstanding faculty members and their commitment to Marianist education,” said Aaron Tyler, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “The eight educators we celebrate Friday, who were nominated by their respective deans, have gone above and beyond in engaging and mentoring our students. St. Mary’s is thankful for their service and grateful to the Alumni Association for continuing this tradition of honoring the faculty of St. Mary’s.”

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Katherine Hampsten, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Communication Studies
  • Bradley W. Root, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History

School of Science, Engineering and Technology

  • David R. Turner, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physics and Environmental Sciences

Greehey School of Business

  • Prasad Padmanabhan, Ph.D., Professor of Finance and Myra Stafford Pryor Chair of Free Enterprise

School of Law

  • Karen Kelley, J.D., Clinical Professor of Law

Graduate Studies

  • Daniel Higgins, Ph.D., Professor of Education, Chair of Education Department, Director of Graduate Education Programs


  • Mike Martinez Jr., J.D., M.S.I.S., Deputy Director of Administration and Professor

The Distinguished Faculty Award was established in 1984 to recognize outstanding faculty in each school. One faculty member is selected from the Greehey School of Business; the School of Science, Engineering and Technology; and the School of Law. Two faculty members are chosen from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. One Graduate Studies faculty member and one librarian also are chosen.

Senior Faculty Award for Mentoring Undergraduate Research

  • Mathew Joseph, Ph.D., Emil C.E. Jurica Distinguished Professor of Marketing

The Senior Faculty Award is a career award for individuals whose efforts in undergraduate mentoring have been exceptional during their career at St. Mary’s. This award is open to tenured full professors and associate professors who have made a lasting commitment to undergraduate research within their respective departments, and have served at St. Mary’s for at least eight years.

The Alumni Association also will honor Faculty Conference Fund recipients:

  • Eric Chelstrom, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Philosophy
  • Heather Hill, Ph.D., Chair and Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Susan Oxley, Ph.D., Chair and Associate Professor of Chemistry
  • Prasad Padmanabhan, Ph.D., Professor of Finance and Myra Stafford Pryor Chair of Free Enterprise

St. Mary's University, founded in 1852, is the first institution of higher learning in San Antonio and the oldest Catholic university in the Southwest. It offers 75 programs, including doctoral and law programs, and has a diverse student population of about 3,800 of all faiths and backgrounds. Its vision, as a Catholic and Marianist liberal arts institution, is to become one of the finest private universities in the region, a gateway for graduates to professional lives as ethical leaders in Texas, the nation and the world.

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