500X330_FacultyExcellence_IntroExcellence in teaching is at the heart of our mission at the University of St. Thomas.

Each year, the University of St. Thomas honors outstanding faculty who exemplify extraordinary dedication and excellence in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service with the Saint Thomas Aquinas Excellence in Teaching Award, the Saint Edith Stein Excellence in Research Award, the Joseph M. McFadden Excellence in Service Award, and the Teach Online Awards to Spur Transformation (TOAST).

We proudly recognize and celebrate our faculty’s achievements!

Award Descriptions

The Saint Thomas Aquinas Excellence in Teaching Award was established to recognize a faculty member who exemplifies UST’s commitment to teaching excellence. Its recipient represents the highest standards of dedication to teaching and learning. 

The Saint Edith Stein Excellence in Research Award honors a faculty member for outstanding scholarship. We are proud of our faculty authors who are advancing their fields through research and writing.

The Joseph M. McFadden Excellence in Service Award is named after the sixth present of the University of St. Thomas (1988-1997) and professor emeritus of History. The award recognizes outstanding faculty service to the University community and abroad.

The TOAST Award (Teach Online Awards to Spur Transformation) was created in 2021 to recognize the excellence and leadership of outstanding faculty in online education. Recipients of the annual TOAST Awards, selected by the Teach Online team, are recognized in an online toast ceremony of at the end of each academic year.

2022 Toast Award Recipients

The Faculty Awards Committee of the Faculty Senate wishes to congratulate our Nominees and to thank everyone who put forward a nomination.

Cameron School of Business

Beverly Barrett

Daniel Perez Liston

Habib Chamoun

Joe Ueng

John Simms

Ramon Fernandez

Samuel Condic

Shuoyang Zhang

Sidika Gulfem Bayram

Vinita Ramaswamy


Kolbe School of Innovation and Professional Studies

Dan Caldwell

Eric Botts

Rebecca Dowden

Nicole Walters


Carol and Odis Peavy School of Nursing

Karen O’Brien

Kristina Leyden

Lauren Delumpa

Jill Ellen Laughlin

Mary Anne Vincent

Mayra Paredes

Vanessa Arline


School of Education and Human Sciences

Andres Garcia

Anne Gichuri-Echessa

Babette Eikenberg

Emiliano Gonzalez

Jennifer Boswell

Nevine Sultan

Richard Krustchinsky

Samuel E. Neher

Tera Torres

Michael Kane


Centers for Excellence

Claudia Baba

Jonathan O'Neill


School of Theology

Steven Meyer


School of Arts and Sciences

Aaron Pomerantz

Sr. Albert Marie Surmanski

Albert Ribes-Zamora

Amanda Taylor

Ana Lopez

Andrew Hayes

Annie Smalley

Brady Knapp

Charles Thangaraj

Sr. Chau Nguyen

Christopher Wolfe

Claire McDonald

Crystal Duc Tran

Crystal Young

Cursheena Stanciel

David Squires

Fr. Dempsey Rosales-Acosta

Dawson White

Dominic Aquila

Elizabeth Kimes

Erika McDonald

Francesca Guerri

Hans Stockton

James Barloon

James Clarage

James M. Wilson

Janet Lowery

Jeff Olsen

Jo Anne M. Marquis

John Craddock

John Hittinger

Jon Kirwan

Maia Larios-Sanz

Marion Fernandez-Cueto

Michael Morrison

Michelle Carnahan

Peter Martin

Randall Smith

Fr. Raphael Mary Wesley Salzillo

Richa Chandra

Rick Sindelar

Rodrigo Ribeiro

Shivas Amin

Stephen Striby

Theodore Rebard

Thomas Behr

Ulysses Balderas

Ximena DeBroeck

Andrew Hayes, Associate Professor of Theology and Division Dean of Liberal Studies

Gabriel Villares, Associate Professor in Biology

Kristina Leyden, Associate Professor in Nursing

Michelle Steiger, Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Yao-Yuan Yeh, Associate Professor, International Studies & Modern Languages

Thomas Osborne, Professor of Philosophy

Andrew Hayes, Associate Professor of Theology and Division Dean of Liberal Studies

Anne Gichuri-Echessa, Assistant Professor and Director of Research, School of Education

Thomas Harmon, Scanlan Professor of Theology

Jennifer Mabus, Assistant Professor, FADD

Jo Meier-Marquis, Chair, Department of Psychology

Maia Larios-Sanz, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Biology

Richard Sindelar, Director, Center for International Studies

Sujin Horwitz, Professor, Management and Marketing

Vinita Ramaswamy, Associate Dean and Professor of Accounting

Beena George, Cameron School of Business 

Saint Thomas Aquinas Excellence In Teaching Award, 2021 Recipients:

Dr. James Clarage And Dr. John Palasota

Dr. James Clarage

Dr. James Clarage and Dr. John Palasota are passionate educators with outstanding records of superlative teaching and a sustained commitment to the personal and academic success of their students.

Dr. Clarage’s nominator describes him as “an outstanding professor … [who] truly embodies and embraces the beauty of a Liberal Arts Education.” He “exhibits the true spirit of a teacher-scholar and a spiritual father. His lectures are shaped by his academic expertise but at the same time, he offers the advice and mentoring that students and other professors appreciate. He is a professor who transmits his vocation as an educator inspiring his students.”

Dr. John PalasotaDr. Palasota’s nominator states: “Dr. Palasota has been wonderful. He is not only allowing students to ask questions throughout the lecture, no matter how long the question is, but also encourages to do so. In fact, Dr. Palasota goes out of his way to truly make sure we understand the concept…. Dr. Palasota really has made chemistry a subject that I enjoy…. [He] sets us up for success, and really does care that we understand and learn the material. I truly believe that Dr. Palasota believes in us, and that is what makes us do so well.”

Saint Edith Stein Excellence In Research Award, 2021 Recipient:

Dr. David ScheinDr. David Schein

The nominator states: “Dr. Schein holds the unique position of having a terminal degree in Law at Cameron School of Business.  In spite of his busy schedule as the Associate Dean, he has found time to publish multiple articles in high quality journals, and many of his articles deal with the ethical aspects of law, in keeping with our Catholic mission.”

In addition to multiple articles published in high caliber journals such as Colorado Technology Law Journal, Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, The Houston Business and Tax Law Journal, University of Florida Journal of Law & Public Policy, The George Washington Business & Finance Law Review, and Journal of Business Economics and Management, Dr. Schein has also authored two books. Crystal Feng, Associate Professor at the International College of Business and Technology in Tianjin, China describes Schein’s 2018 work, The Decline of America: 100 Years of Leadership Failures as providing a “vivid picture of US presidents during the last 100 years and examining two important aspects of the presidents—their leadership decisions and their ethical orientation”; it is a substantial contribution “to the field of research of the social, political, and economic systems around the world.” 

Joseph M. Mcfadden Excellence In Service Award, 2021 Recipient: 

Dr. Javoris HollingsworthDr. Javoris Hollingsworth

Dr. Hollingsworth embodies the spirit of servant leadership and is nationally recognized for his work. He is the recipient of the American Chemical Society Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences, the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers Mentor on the Map Award, and the American Chemical Society Younger Chemists Committee Leadership Development Workshop Award.

His nominator states: “Dr. Hollingsworth has made significant service contributions to the chemistry and biochemistry department, University, and the community. He has served on a University panel for incoming freshmen through the Mendenhall Summer Institute, he is a member of various University committees, and he is faculty advisor for University student organizations, including the student chapter of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Hollingsworth also founded and is the current faculty advisor for the UST Chapter of the National Organization for Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE). He also serves the Greater Houston Section of the American Chemical Society.”

*Eligibility Requirements: Any full-time faculty member of the University of St. Thomas who has not received the specific award in the past three years is eligible to be considered for the award. The selection process begins with nominations solicited in early Spring, followed by the submission of Nominee Portfolios. The Faculty Awards Committee reviews these portfolios and selects a candidate for each award, whose candidacy is submitted for approval by the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The awards are presented on the Opening Day of the academic year, and the recipient receives a commemorative plague and a $500 stipend.

Past Award Recipients
Faculty Spotlights

Showcasing our faculty excellence with stories from UST Communications (2019 – 2021)