We are committed to providing faculty with outstanding professional development opportunities by engaging them in university’s innovative initiatives. Below, meet the first nine Faculty Fellow positions within the Division of Research, Graduate Studies, and New Program Development for FY2019-20. They fall into the categories of Technology Licensing and Commercialization, New Program Market Research, Sustainability, and International Faculty Fellows.
Dr. Maysam Pournik and Dr. Upal Roy will assist in commercialization of UTRGV technologies. One fellow will focus on inventions in life sciences and pharmaceuticals, the other fellow will focus on engineering and the other physical sciences. Fellows will attend industry conferences, find potential licensees by making new industry contacts and introducing them to faculty, and, investigate market sizes for key UTRGV technologies. Fellows will also support faculty training efforts and student inventor teams, and coach faculty on entrepreneurship, creation of spin-out companies, and develop commercialization grants.
Dr. Upal Roy has a strong record of research and development in the field of drug development and drug delivery of infectious disease, and many years of experience in the targeted delivery of drug and vaccine molecule in the preclinical setting. He's managed multiple collaboration and work with the multidisciplinary team as principal investigator and associated scientist. Dr. Roy has a strong interest in mentoring young researchers in their career development. Professional interests includes drug and vaccine development for infectious disease, detection and biomarker development of infection-related neurological disorders.
Dr. Diego Escobari and Dr. Xuan Wang have backgrounds in data-driven market research for two New Program Market Research Faculty Fellows. One fellow will conduct research on new market opportunities for our existing undergraduate and graduate programs and the other will identify potential new program opportunities locally and globally. These fellows will work closely with the Office of New Program Development and University Marketing and Communications to identify opportunities for expanding existing and developing new face-to-face, online or accelerated online programs.
Dr. Xuan Wan is an Assistant Professor in the UTRGV Department of Information Technology. She earned her PhD in Business Administration from Louisiana State University and her MS in Mathematics (Applications) from Louisiana State University. Dr. Wang’s areas of expertise include Big Data Analytics, Causal Inference, and Advanced Methodology.
Dr. Christopher Gabler and Dr. Sergio Garcia will lead efforts in (i) campus sustainability literacy and climate assessment and (ii) faculty development in sustainability focused evidence-based teaching reforms. The fellows will work closely with the Office of Sustainability and will provide the experience, creativity, and credibility necessary for sustainable engagement, innovation, and excellence in student and faculty learning and engagement in sustainability projects locally and globally.
Dr. Christopher Gabler is an Assistant Professorwith a joint appointment with the School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences and the Department of Biology. He earned his M.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Rice University and Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Rice University. His areas of interests include the physiological, population, and community ecology of plants, climate change, ecological restoration, invasive species, conservation biology, and biodiversity.His goal is to understand and ameliorate different aspects of global change that are major contributors to the current rapid decline in global biodiversity and ecosystem function. He employs a lot of large field experiments that incorporate multiple sites along climatic or abiotic gradients.
Dr. Sergio Garcia is a lecturer in the Department of Information Systems. He holds a MBA and PhD in Business Administration from UTPA. He is a long time Texan and father of two young boys. Dr. Garcia left Texas following 9/11 to serve at the U.S. Dept. of State and returned to pursue academic and community interests in the Rio Grande Valley. Dr. Garcia's areas of academic expertise include investments, International Finance, Real Estate, Bubble Detection, Recursive Models, and International Equity Markets. He is also interested in local nonprofit groups.
Dr. Francis Andoh Baidoo, Dr. Teresa Feria–Arroyo, and Dr. Erwin Suazo obtained their undergraduate or graduate degree(s) from Ghana, Mexico, and Colombia, respectively. They will work closely with the Office of EVP-RGSNPD and the Office of Global Engagement in building sustainable partnerships with institutions in their original home countries to establish recruitment pipelines for our undergraduate and graduate programs. Faculty Fellows will be expected to coordinate information sessions for students about UTRGV’s undergraduate and graduate programs and help facilitate two way faculty exchange visits.
Dr. Francis Kofi Andoh-Baidoo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Systems. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Business Administration with a major in Information Systems and a minor in Finance from Virginia Commonwealth University in Ghana. He also has Masters in Business Administration and Masters in Information Technology Management from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His undergraduate in Materials Engineering is from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. He serves on the editorial review board of several Information Systems journals. He is a certified Oracle Database Administrator and has industry experience in Enterprise Resource Planning Systems and Business Intelligence. His areas of expertise includeBusiness Intelligence/Analyticsand Information Security.
Dr. Teresa Feria–Arroyo is an Associate Professor in the UTRGV Biology Department. She holds a PhD in Biology from the University of Missouri - St. Louis, and MS in Animal Biology from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. Her undergraduate degree, a BS in Biology, was also earned in Mexico from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. Dr. Feria’s research focus on understanding present and future (under climate change scenarios) distribution of living organisms using Geographical Information System (GIS) technologies and Species Distribution Models. Her areas of expertise include Ecology, Global Change Ecology, Geographic Information Systems, Species Distribution Modeling, Invasive Species, Vector Borne diseases, Endangered Species, and Climate Change.
Dr. Erwin Suazo is an Associate Professor in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences. He earned his PhD in Mathematics from Arizona State University and his MS in Mathematics from Arizona State University. His undergraduate was earned in Colombia. His research interests are in analysis of partial differential equations (PDEs) appearing in wave phenomena. The equations he works on have interesting and useful applications in physics (like describing the motion of particles in the presence of magnetic and electric fields changing with time), electrical engineering (laser beam propagation on lenses and atmosphere), biology (spacial population growth and gene selection) and computer science (testing numerical methods for PDEs).