Tuesday, June 19, 2018
  Announcements, Awards and Recognitions

By Marci Caltabiano-Ponce

Dr. Dagoberto Ramirez
Dr. Dagoberto Ramirez

AUSTIN, TEXAS – The University of Texas System Board of Regents has honored two UTRGV faculty members with the 2018 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award (ROTA).

Dr. Dagoberto Ramirez, Lecturer I in the UTRGV University College, and Dr. Cory Wimberly, UTRGV associate professor of Social and Political Philosophy, are among the 27 faculty members from UT’s 14 academic and health institutions named recipients of the award.

This is the 10th consecutive year for the award, and over the past decade Regents have awarded more than $19 million to 700 UT educators for delivering the highest quality instruction in the classroom, lab, field and online. Each 2018 recipient is awarded $25,000 in recognition of their commitment to student success. 

“We are indebted to these educators, who exemplify great teaching on every level,” said Board of Regents Chairman Sara Martinez Tucker. “These are educators, researchers and healthcare professionals who – no matter how long they’ve been teaching – never stop thinking about new and innovative ways to enhance the learning experience.” 

Dr. Cory Wimberly
Dr. Cory Wimberly

Recipients of the 2018 ROTA will be recognized Aug. 9 at a reception held in conjunction with the Board of Regents meeting in Austin. 

The awards are among the largest in the nation for rewarding outstanding faculty performance. Nominees undergo a series of rigorous evaluations by students, peer faculty and external reviewers. The review panels consider a range of activities and criteria in their evaluations of a candidate's teaching performance, including classroom expertise, curricula quality, innovative course development and student learning outcomes. 

In addition to Ramirez and Wimberly, the academic institution honorees are:  

  • Frank Foss, UT Arlington. 
  • Regina Urban, UT Arlington. 
  • Erika Bsumek, UT Austin. 
  • Mark Daniels, UT Austin. 
  • Gregg Dieckmann, UT Dallas. 
  • Peter Ingrao, UT Dallas. 
  • Giulio Francia, UT El Paso. 
  • Irma Montelongo, UT El Paso. 
  • Maria Avalos, UT Permian Basin. 
  • Kurt Verlei, UT Permian Basin. 
  • Jackie Cuevas, UT San Antonio. 
  • Jennifer Dilley, UT San Antonio. 
  • Kerrie Ambort-Clark, UT Tyler. 
  • Sean Butler, UT Tyler. 


UT health institution honorees are:  

  • Jamesde Lemos, UT Southwestern. 
  • Dorothy Sendelbach, UT Southwestern. 
  • Yolanda Davila, UT Medical Branch.
  • Victor Sierpina, UT Medical Branch. 
  • Ryan Quock, UTHealth Houston. 
  • Susan Ruppert, UTHealth Houston. 
  • Robert Esterl, Jr., UT Health San Antonio. 
  • Ellen Kraig, UT Health San Antonio. 
  • Russell Broaddus, UT MD Anderson. 
  • Pierre McCrea, UT MD Anderson. 
  • Amy Tvinnerein, UT Health Science Center at Tyler. 


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.