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LU awards celebrated University Merit Awards

Lamar University is proud to announce the recipients of the 2020 University Merit Awards bestowed on three professors in a short ceremony Nov. 12.

Dr. Ken Evans, LU president, awarded three professors - Drs. Stephanie Chadwick, Yueqing Li and Sujing Wang - the distinguished Merit Awards for superior teaching, scholarship and service to the university.

Dr. Stephanie Chadwick, Department of Art & Design, College of Fine Arts & Communication
Stephanie Chadwick Merit Award
President Ken Evans, Dr. Stephanie Chadwick

I am very honored to receive this award and appreciate the university support. It was great to get such good news at such a trying time. – Stephanie Chadwick

Chadwick is an assistant professor of art history specializing in 20th century art. She earned a bachelor’s degree in humanities and art history from the University of Houston-Downtown, a master’s degree in art history from Florida State University and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in art history from Rice University.

Since coming to LU in 2015, she has taught more than 1,200 students art history and has made it her mission to make art alive for all students regardless of a student’s discipline. In fact, most of her students are taking art history and art appreciation courses as electives to fulfill core curriculum requirements. 

Chadwick initiated the writing of a textbook to highlight art available in the local and regional community, teaching students that art is not an unreachable commodity. The Department of Art & Design wrote the book; Chadwick edited it and contributed chapters on history of art and photography. 

“I have been extremely happy to have edited and co-authored the textbook “Art as Living Practice” with the Department of Art & Design and to have coordinated class trips to the Art Museum of Southeast Texas and department field trips to renowned Houston art museums,” said Chadwick. 

Through her connection to the local art community, Chadwick found opportunities for students to display their art; she engaged students in research projects, and she made assignments to help students improve their writing and research skills.

“I find it very rewarding to engage students with art in museums, help students make connections between local and global art, and facilitate active student research and networking for future careers,” said Chadwick. 

While Chadwick is an asset to LU, she is also active in the community participating in lectures at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas and supporting the efforts of the Art Studio and the Beaumont Art League. 

“Dr. Chadwick has made a tremendous contribution to art education at Lamar University during her time here,” said Derina Holtzhausen, dean and professor, College of Fine Arts & Communication. “Students mention that she encourages class discussions and praise her knowledge of the subject matter and her attitude. One of the best indicators of her success is the high attendance of her classes and the fact that students are pleased with their performance in her courses.”

Dr. Yueqing Li, Department of Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering

Yueqing Li Merit Award Winner
President Ken Evans, Yueqing Li
I am so honored to be selected. I know there are so many great teachers at Lamar University and they all do a wonderful job. It will encourage me to work harder to improve my teachingand better serve the students.  – Yueqing Li Yueqing Li

Li is an assistant professor who teaches both undergraduate and graduate level courses. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering from Zhengzhou University, a master’s degree in economics from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, a master’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Arkansas and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from North Carolina State University.

Li has served LU for six years, during which time he has incorporated modern teaching tools and undertaken special educational projects. He received educational grants from Lamar University and the National Science Foundation to enhance his students’ learning experiences.

In teaching, Li takes his job very seriously. He has attended many professional training workshops related to teaching. He is one of the most popular faculty members in the College of Engineering. His student evaluations are always positive. He has guided one doctoral dissertation and six master’s theses and is currently supervising four doctoral students and one master’s student. He has served as committee of 16 doctoral and master’s students. He also serves as the graduate advisor in his department.

“Because I am teaching engineering students, I always ask the students to think about the real problems they may encounter in the future. I am very happy when I receive emails from previous students showing their appreciation of the education at Lamar University,” said Li. “One time I met an online graduate in Walmart in Louisiana. He recognized me and thanked me for teaching him useful statistics which helped him to get the job. I felt so proud of being a teacher at that time.”

Li is a successful researcher and encourages his students to conduct research based on the course projects. He has received 12 research grants and published more than 30 peer-reviewed journal papers, book chapters and more than 25 conference papers. His graduate research students have been recognized in conferences for their efforts in the area of human factors and ergonomics. He also founded the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory and the Driving Simulation Laboratory at LU. The Neuroergonomics Laboratory will be ready to use in the fall semester.

In addition to his service to LU, Li is an active professional. He serves as session chairs in several professional conferences and has presented more than 40 talks. He also serves on the committee of Safety and Operations for theTexas Department of Transportation and on the committee of Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station.

“Dr. Li has been one of the most effective faculty, is well respected by his students and involves his students in classroom research projects that often lead to publishable work, presentations and posters at conferences,” said Brian Craig, dean of the College of Engineering. “His level of productivity certainly distinguishes him and makes him most deserving of this great recognition.”

Sujing Wang, assistant professor, Department of Computer Science, College of Arts and Sciences 

This is a great honor for me, personally and professionally. It recognizes my professional achievement in
Sujing Wang Merit Award Winner
President Ken Evans, Sujing Wang
teaching, scholarship and services. It encourages and inspires me to continue to make contributions at Lamar University. – Sujing Wang Sujing Wang

Wang joined Lamar University’s Department of Computer Science as an instructor in 2006. In the fall of 2015, her rank was modified to tenure-track assistant professor. She has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Tiangong University, P.R. China and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Houston.

Wang is a respected and admired teacher, conscientious and dedicated to her students. In evaluations, students say Wang is accessible, clear in her expectations and patient in explaining complicated topics. One student commented that Wang is “a dedicated mentor and a great person.” 

Wang has developed eight undergraduate courses, eight graduate courses and eight online courses. She has been awarded seven instructional teaching grants and received five Quality Matters National Peer Course Review Certification Awards for the courses, such as COSC 1336, “Fundamentals” and COSC 3306, “C++.” 

“I have utilized many teaching approaches to enhance student learning, such as interactive instructional techniques to engage students in learning and interaction, and project-based hands-on teaching approach to enhance student learning,” said Wang.

As a mentor, Wang involves students in her research. She has served as a mentor for two student recipients of the Office of Undergraduate Research grant. Her students received three OUR awards for exceptional poster presentations. She worked with students on seven undergraduate and graduate research papers presented in 2015, 2017 and 2018 at the Texas STEM Conference and three undergraduate research projects presented at LU’s Undergraduate Research Expo, 2017-2019. She has served as a member of eleven doctoral theses and serves as a thesis advisor for six master’s students. She has also been a mentor for two McNair Scholars. 

A prolific researcher, Wang has served as PI and CO-PI on eleven external grants and seven internally funded grants. She has included undergraduates as research assistants in these projects and as co-authors in several publications. Wang also directs the camp, Camp Code for Girls, that enrolls local middle school girls in a summer camp dedicated to computer coding and is continually funded by the Texas Workforce Commission. She also engages female students in the computer science field through involvement in Lamar University Students Advancing through Research Student Talent Expansion Project program. As the faculty advisor for the program, she has mentored nine students in four years.

“Having worked personally with Dr. Wang on the preparation of several research grants throughout the year, I can attest to the amazing energy and talent she devotes to Lamar University students,” said Rebecca Boone, chair of history, applied arts and sciences and general studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. “In addition to being a fantastic teacher, mentor and researcher, Dr. Wang is a force for bringing more female students into the male-dominated field of computer science.