REDI Honors Research and Innovation, Highlights Fulbright Program

By Bernadette Serna
May 15, 2023

A&M-Central Texas library
Left: Dr. Denita Hadziabdic Guerry, Fulbright U.S. Scholar Alumni Ambassador. Right: Jasmine Mason was presented the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Scholarship Award by Associate Provost Dr. Kellie Cude

Research and innovative scholarship were celebrated, and students, staff, and faculty were honored for their achievements at the 11th Annual Outstanding University Research and Innovation Banquet, Thursday, May 11, at Texas A&M University–Central Texas.

Since the inception of the event there have been 657 nominations with 204 finalists said Vice President for Research, Economic Development, and Innovation Dr. Russell Porter.

“All nominees and finalists are really winners unto themselves for the outstanding research scholarship and innovative ideas they represent,” Porter said. “Moreover, the award winners represent the best of the best of those nominees and finalist winners. In the past 10 years award winners took home their finalist certificates, plaques, and a combined total of over $77,000 in award winnings.”

This year’s winners were:

  • Outstanding Faculty/Staff Qualitative Scholarship Award – Dr. Shelly Harris and Dr. Lisa Bunkowski
  • Outstanding Faculty/Staff Quantitative Scholarship Award – Dr. Lisa Bunkowski
  • Warrior Innovation Staff Award – Information Technology, Gail Wallin and Michael Coolbaugh
  • Outstanding Undergraduate Student Scholarship Award – Jasmine Mason
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship Award – Sue Sitton
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Thesis Award – Gwenda Anderson

The Fulbright Program was also highlighted during the banquet with the evening’s keynote speaker Dr. Denita Hadziabdic Guerry, Fulbright U.S. Scholar Alumni Ambassador. A&M– Central Texas’ Fulbright scholar Dr. Christopher Thron, and Guerry spoke of the professional and personal growth they have experienced through the Fulbright program. Although difficult to obtain, Thron has been awarded four times. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the United States and partner nations, share knowledge across communities, and improve lives around the world.

Dr. Babatunde Sawyerr was introduced as the Fulbright scholar A&M–Central Texas will be sponsoring during the Fall 2023 semester, with the support of the Division of Research, Economic Development, and Innovation. Sawyerr is currently a research lead and senior lecturer in the computer science department at the University of Lagos.

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