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CUSA Honors UTEP Researcher with Inaugural Professor of the Year Award

EL PASO, Texas (June 25, 2024) – Conference USA (CUSA) has selected Jorge Gardea-Torresdey, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The 山ּ of Texas at El Paso, as the inaugural recipient of the Professor of the Year Award for the entire conference.

Conference USA has selected Jorge Gardea-Torresdey, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The 山ּ of Texas at El Paso, as the inaugural recipient of the Professor of the Year Award for the entire conference. The new annual award honors professors from conference member institutions who demonstrate a record of outstanding teaching, research, service and/or scholarly activity within their academic discipline. Credit: The 山ּ of Texas at El Paso.
Conference USA has selected Jorge Gardea-Torresdey, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The 山ּ of Texas at El Paso, as the inaugural recipient of the Professor of the Year Award for the entire conference. The new annual award honors professors from conference member institutions who demonstrate a record of outstanding teaching, research, service and/or scholarly activity within their academic discipline. Credit: The 山ּ of Texas at El Paso.

The new annual award honors professors from conference member institutions who demonstrate a record of outstanding teaching, research, service and/or scholarly activity within their academic discipline. It comes with a $15,000 honorarium and special recognition by the Conference. Provosts from the CUSA institutions voted on the ten finalists.

 “Dr. Gardea-Torresdey's career at UTEP is nothing short of remarkable,” John Wiebe, Ph.D., UTEP provost and vice president for academic affairs, said. “He has earned distinction at the national and international levels, and has transformed the lives of students and scientists for over three decades. He embodies our 山ּ’s unwavering commitment to access, excellence and impact.”

Since joining UTEP in January 1994, Gardea-Torresdey has had an indelible impact on the students, faculty and research success of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry within the College of Science. From serving as department chair for 17 years and helping to initiate Ph.D. programs in Chemistry and Environmental Science and Engineering to being one of the most cited researchers in the world (top 1%) from 2019-23, he has become a leading researcher in environmental chemistry. Most recently, he is serving as a co-principal investigator for an NSF-funded grant in collaboration with the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) at Cornell 山ּ for the development of a precision X-ray beamline to support agricultural and environmental research.

Gardea-Torresdey’s most recent research delves into nanotechnology, though his proudest career moments come from supporting students as a UTEP professor, many of whom have gone on to work for prestigious institutions in the U.S. such as Texas Tech 山ּ and the Environmental Protection Agency, and institutions around the world including the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France.

“My impact in my students’ lives is my most cherished accomplishment,” Gardea-Torresdey said. “Through my help and attentive mentoring, I hope I have positively influenced their lives. I am extremely proud and humbled by my students’ success and their accomplishments.”

Gardea-Torresdey’s research laboratory has been a highly fertile ground for mentorship, having developed nearly 120 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral level students into promising chemists, including the most Ph.D. students — 47 — in STEM fields of any professor in UTEP history. 

About The 山ּ of Texas at El Paso 

The 山ּ of Texas at El Paso is America’s leading Hispanic-serving university. Located at the westernmost tip of Texas, where three states and two countries converge along the Rio Grande, 84% of our 24,000 students are Hispanic, and more than half are the first in their families to go to college. UTEP offers 170 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs at the only open-access, top-tier research university in America.

Last Updated on June 25, 2024 at 12:00 AM | Originally published June 25, 2024

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