UTEP Chemistry Professor Named Distinguished Teacher

Last Updated on April 24, 2015 at 8:44 am

Originally published April 24, 2015

By Esmeralda Treviño

UTEP News Service

The University of Texas at El Paso has excellent faculty and staff who help students achieve their dreams. Juan Noveron, Ph.D., is an associate professor of chemistry at UTEP, and his superior teaching will earn him an induction into The University of Texas System’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers on Wednesday, April 29, 2015.

Created in 2012 to recognize excellence among educators at The University of Texas System’s nine academic institutions, the Academy of Distinguished Teachers and its members serve as an advocacy group dedicated to improving teaching, developing innovation in the classroom and endorsing interdisciplinary views on education.

Juan Noveron, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry, was selected for induction into the 2015 Academy of Distinguished Teachers. Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre / UTEP News Service

Juan Noveron, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry, was selected for induction into the 2015 Academy of Distinguished Teachers. Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre / UTEP News Service

Noveron is one of four outstanding educators selected for the academy’s 2015 class. Membership in the academy is based on excellence in teaching at the undergraduate or graduate level combined with extraordinary contributions to the educational mission of the UT System.

All members must be past recipients of the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award and also must hold the rank of associate professor or professor, or have a teaching-intensive position with a title such as senior lecturer or distinguished senior lecturer.

“Dr. Noveron is a gifted lecturer, and he distinguishes himself as an excellent mentor to undergraduate students in his laboratory,” said Howard C. Daudistel, Ph.D., interim provost and vice president of academic affairs at UTEP. “He is a leader in innovative pedagogy on campus, teaching current and future teachers along with traditional undergraduate and graduate students in chemistry.”

Noveron joined the Department of Chemistry in 2003 and established a research and education program in self-organizing molecular materials with applications in medicine and sustainable energy and water.

“I see myself in the students that attend the University and I want to contribute to UTEP’s mission,” Noveron said. “I think we are at the brink of a revolution in higher education, in which the new advances in cognitive science, virtual tools and globalization will transform the way we educate the new generations of students. This is an exciting time to pursue a higher education.”

Noveron, who also is the Provost’s Faculty Fellow-In-Residence at UTEP’s Office of Undergraduate Studies, has earned numerous teaching awards and grants. The most notable are the Lizanell and Colbert Coldwell Foundation Award in 2005, the American Chemical Society’s Petroleum Research Fund Award in 2006, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) CAREER Award in 2008, the NSF MRI in 2009, the USDA HIS Award in 2011, the NSF PREM Award in 2012, and the USDA STRENGTH Award in 2014, totaling nearly $10 million. Noveron also was an inaugural winner of the UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award in 2009.

On campus, he serves on various campuswide committees including the Intellectual Property Committee, the Student Affairs Committee and the UTEP Quality Enhancement Plan Development Team, and he co-chairs the University Honors Implementation Committee as a Provost’s Faculty Fellow.

“Dr. Noveron is a Distinguished UT teacher because he deeply cares for his students and dedicates his time so that they learn,” said Jorge Gardea-Torresdey, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Chemistry. “I often have students come to my office to tell me how much they appreciate Dr. Noveron’s teaching efforts.”

A UTEP faculty member has been inducted into the academy every year since it was established. Out of the nine UT universities, only eight institutions have members induced into the academy.

The first inductee from UTEP was Beth Brunk-Chavez, Ph.D., senior associate dean of Extended University, who was inducted in 2013. The second was John Hadjimarcou, Ph.D., department chair and professor of marketing and management, who was chosen in 2014.

Membership in the Academy of Distinguished Teachers is lifelong, as the members are expected to continue to encourage excellence and to participate actively in the activities that promote its mission.

After teaching chemistry at UTEP for 12 years, Noveron shows his students the scholarship process that he learned from others by sharing his passion for the natural sciences.

“I continuously remind my students of my belief in their highest aspirations because our dreams need believers to help those aspirations come true,” he said.

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