2015 Faculty Award Winners

The Italia-Eire Foundation Distinguished Teacher of the Year
Funded by Dr. Joseph C. Allegra (BA ’70, Chem), distinguished graduate and Chair of the college's Board of Visitors

Allison Tumarkin-Deratzian 
Associate Professor, Instructional, Department of Earth & Environmental Science

Dr. Tumarkin-Deratzian joined Temple University as a lecturer in 2006 and became an assistant professor, instructional, in 2008. Her courses include Vertebrate Paleontology and Taphonomy; Paleontology and Stratigraphy; Evolution and Extinctions; and Disasters: Geology vs. Hollywood. She has been a member of the Writing Intensive Course Committee, the Department of Earth & Environmental Science Curriculum Committee and the college’s Undergraduate Committee. Tumarkin-Deratzian has served as departmental Faculty Advisor, a thesis advisor, a thesis committee member and a dissertation committee member.


The Dean’s Distinguished Excellence in Mentoring Awards 

Martin Lorenz
Professor, Department of Mathematics

Dr. Lorenz joined the Department of Mathematics as a professor in 1989. His research interests include noncommutative algebra, invariant theory and representation theory. He is an enthusiastic and dedicated instructor at all levels, from calculus through advanced graduate education to dissertation supervision. Lorenz has also served as the department’s Graduate Chair. Recently, Lorenz has been assigned the department’s capstone course for mathematics majors, creating an impressive and well thought out series of materials, presentations and lectures.

Claudia Pine-Simon
Instructor, Department of Computer & Information Sciences

Pine-Simon joined Temple University in 2000. Her courses include Introduction to Information Systems and Honors Cyberspace and Society. She serves on the department’s Awards Committee with focus on selecting scholarship recipients. She also serves on the University Honors Oversight Committee and earned Honors Professor of the Year in 2009. As a faculty advisor to the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) professional student organization, Pine-Simon helps students develop leadership, interpersonal and academic skills. She has mentored, prepared and accompanied many female students to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference every year since 2007.


The William Caldwell Memorial Distinguished Teaching Award 
Funded by Seda K. Tarzian (BA '48, Bio), distinguished graduate and member of the college's Board of Visitors

Tonia Hsieh
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology

Since joining Temple University in 2010, Dr. Hsieh has created an immersive, collaborative environment for students. She has taught two graduate courses, Biomimetics & Bioinspiration and Evolutionary Morphology. Hsieh has also pioneered a valuable interaction between the Department of Biology and the Tyler School of Art in how biology can provide fresh inspiration in the creative arts. She has established a productive research laboratory with a strong student education environment that has allowed her to engage in mentoring and training students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.


The Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Awards

Laura Toran
Albert W. and Alice M. Weeks Chair in Environmental Geology, Department of Earth & Environmental Science

Laura Toran, who came to Temple University in 1997, is a groundwater geologist with extensive experience in urban hydrology, karst and modeling hazardous waste sites. Her research has been funded by NSF, EPA and the William Penn Foundation. Toran continuously maintains a lab full of both graduate and undergraduate students, and guides them effectively and efficiently through their research projects. She also serves as the program director for the Environmental Sciences major. Recently, Toran has helped lead efforts to strengthen the department’s undergraduate program through recruitment, math mentoring and apprenticeships.

Farzana Chaudhry
Assistant Professor, Instructional, Department of Mathematics

Farzana Chaudhry joined the Department of Mathematics in 2004, becoming one of the pillars of the department’s calculus instruction group. Her courses include Honor Calculus I and II, Pre-Calculus and College Mathematics I and II. As a coursecoordinator, Chaudhry designs the syllabus and examinations and monitors the individual instructors so that course content and grading are uniform. She also plays a leadership role with regards to the Honors Calculus instructors. She holds all her students to the highest standards. In 2010, Chaudhry earned the department’s instructorship award for excellence in teaching.

Andrew Price
Associate Professor, Instructional, Department of Chemistry

Since joining the Department of Chemistry in 2008, Dr. Price has been central to the development of the Introductory Chemistry sequence, including upgrades to Honors Chemistry laboratory with 14 new experiments and revising the General Chemistry lecture course with a new syllabus, institution of on-line homework and the use of a common American Chemical Society exam for the final exam. In 2009, he the introduced Vernier equipment into the General Chemistry sequence. Recently, he has had a significant impact on the undergraduate inorganic lecture course. Price serves on the Undergraduate Curriculum and Pre-Professional Health Evaluation committees. He also serves as a mentor to undergraduates who are awarded Diamond Peer Teacher Fellowships.

Vladimira Wilent
Assistant Professor, Instructional, Department of Chemistry

Dr. Wilent joined Temple University in 2011, teaching several biochemistry courses in addition to Honors Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry. For Biochemical Methods, the biochemistry major capstone course, she completely redesigned all the experiments to include cloning, protein expression and enzyme kinetics. Wilent rewrote the lab manual for the course, so that students now write lab reports and present research posters at the end of the semester. She is a member of t department’s Undergraduate Committee and Pre-Professional Committee and played a critical role in a recent proposal to offer a minor in Chemistry.


The Dean’s Distinguished Award for Excellence in Research

Erik Cordes
Associate Professor, Department of Biology

Dr. Cordes joined Temple University in 2008. His research focuses on cold-water corals in the Gulf of Mexico and the environmental impact of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. His work showed that the dispersant used to remediate the spill is more toxic to corals than the spilled oil. Several of his students have accompanied him on research voyages in the Gulf of Mexico, spending time in a submersible to study deep-sea coral. Recent grants include the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In 2014, Cordes received the college’s William Caldwell Memorial Distinguished Mentoring Award.