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New Faculty Awards Presented

One of the most important things we do at the Texas Tech Alumni Association is use membership funds to help to meet academic needs throughout Texas Tech University. In order to assist Texas Tech in attracting and retaining world class faculty, the Texas Tech Alumni Association established the New Faculty Awards program in 1987 to recognize outstanding new members of the faculty in each college and the School of Law.

The dean of each of these academic units designates the recipient of the award, which carries with it a certificate and an honorarium of $500 funded by the Texas Tech Alumni Association.

The awards are presented at the New Faculty Convocation to faculty who have four years, or fewer, of service at any university and who have earned distinction for dedicated service to Texas Tech.

Congratulations to the 2014 recipients!

Erica Irlbeck

Erica Irlbeck is an assistant professor of agricultural communications at Texas Tech University.  She started her duties in September 2009.

Irlbeck received her doctor of education degree in agricultural education from Texas Tech in August 2009. Prior to her academic career, Irlbeck worked in agricultural television news, farm radio, public relations and advertising. She received her bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications from Oklahoma State University in 1998 and her master's degree in agricultural communications from Texas Tech in 2007.

Irlbeck teaches three courses at Texas Tech:  Video Production in Agriculture, Agricultural Communications Campaigns and Senior Seminar. Her research interests are risk and crisis communications, agriculture in television media and agricultural communications campaigns.

Erica is married to Scott, who also works at Texas Tech in the Office of the Vice President for Research. They have one son, Jett. They enjoy cheering for the Red Raiders, gardening, and traveling.

Jeffrey Nesbit

Jeffrey S Nesbit holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and received his first Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Texas Tech University. During his thesis and post-professional studies Nesbit focused his architectural inquiry into issues of urbanism and the constructed landscapes, including the post-industrial landscapes of the Imperial Sugar Factory in Sugar Land, TX and Hunter's Point South in Queens, New York. Currently his work investigates urban organizational strategies based upon the generation and evolution of topological behaviors. In particular, evaluating the analysis and synthesis of phase transitions through the oscillating tissues of an interconnected urban fabric.

Immediately upon completion with graduate school, Nesbit co-led a design team within the international design studio in Seoul, Korea for Heerim Architects. His competition submittal for the Central National Infrastructural Agency in Abu Dhabi, collaborated with J. Arndt, received first place and 'contract awarded'. In the fall of 2009 he returned to Texas, working as a designer for Kell Muñoz Architects in San Antonio. While with KMA, his design proposal for Edwards Aquifer Authority office building, renovation and addition, received first place and KMA was awarded contract. More recently, his work on the existing Department of Sanitation Marine Transfer Facility in West Harlem New York with Urban Quotient was selected for publication and exhibition at the Center for Architecture in New York City in 2012. Nesbit has received various honors for both his works and research and has been selected for multiple exhibits and publications. In addition to directing the experimental architecture group Haecceitas Studio, he teaches various design studios and seminars on theory in architecture and urbanism.

Leif Ellingson

Dr. Leif Ellingson is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. His research interests include:

  • shape analysis
  • statistics on manifolds and sample spaces with manifold stratification
  • statistical applications in bioinformatics and computational biology

Professor Ellingson's dissertation research was in shape analysis with a focus on computationally efficient methodology in application to the study of planar contours and structural proteomics.

Prior to his appointment, professor Ellingson completed a Ph.D. in statistics in 2011 and a master's degree in 2009 at Florida State University. He received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Maryland in 2007. Additionally, he was an active participant in the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute's 2010-2011 Analysis of Object Data program.

Elizabeth Karam

Elizabeth Karam is an assistant professor in the Area of Management in the Rawls College of Business. Her research focuses primarily on how leaders affect team and organizational outcomes. Specifically, she examines:

  • the impact of executive leadership on firm performance
  • the contributions of team leaders to work group performance
  • the dependence and influence relationships between leaders and internal and external organizational stakeholders

Her research has been published in the Journal of Management and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and she is a regular presenter at the Academy of Management annual meeting.

Karam will be teaching human resource management and leadership and ethics in the Masters of Business Administration program.

Prior to earning her Ph.D., Karam worked in human resource management in a professional services firm and for a Fortune 500 company. She has consulted on projects related to leadership development, leadership coaching and organizational culture throughout her doctoral studies. She received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her M.B.A. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

Donna Brown

Brown's work in the Educational Diagnostician specialization has enabled the Special Education program to grow to the largest graduate program in the College of Education.  Her enthusiasm and dedication have helped educate many individuals, empowering them to provide the highest quality of academic and intellectual assessment for children with disabilities in our public school systems. She works hard to ensure that each student receives individual attention during each course she teaches, which is why her student evaluations are consistently among the highest in the college.

Stephen Morse

Dr. Stephen M. Morse is an assistant professor of civil engineering. A leading expert in window glass, his research provides a basis for industry glass strength design standards. Professor Morse's research interests include:

  • window glass strength
  • model and full-scale wind loads on structures
  • finite element analysis
  • engineering design software development

He is developing a numerical model to predict the behavior of uniform laterally loaded triple-insulating glass units that have recently become popular because of their thermal transmission performance.

In summer 2012 Professor Morse will be teaching engineering mechanics to study-abroad students in Seville, Spain. He also participates on the committees responsible for glass industry design standards.

Professor Morse received his bachelor's, master's and doctorate in civil engineering from Texas Tech University.

Anne Prouty

Anne Prouty, Ph.D., L.M.F.T., is associate professor in the Department of Applied and Professional Studies' marriage and family therapy programs. After completing two years of medical graduate courses, Dr. Prouty earned her master's degree in marriage and family therapy from the East Carolina University in 1993 and her doctorate from the Purdue University's marriage and family therapy program in 1996. She blends her interests as a medical family therapist working with families through acute and chronic illness. Her related research interests include: family dynamics and eating disorders, the intergenerational transmission of women's healthy body image and family resiliency dynamics during cancer treatment.

Dr. Prouty has taught in five COAMFTE accredited marriage and family therapy programs, including co-creating the social justice-focused doctoral program at Antioch New England, and she serves as a site vistor for the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education. Dr. Prouty's academic writing reflects her clinical and teaching interests about the importance of focusing on human diversity issues in therapy and training and on learner-focused teaching. Dr. Prouty currently teaches, supervises and mentors at the doctoral, masters and undergraduate levels at Texas Tech University.

Dr. Prouty's professional service has included being faculty senate president at one of her former university positions, as well as having held several offices at the national and divisional level within the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She has been the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Feminist Family Therapy since 2003.

Alyson Outenreath

Professor Outenreath received her J.D., summa cum laude, from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2000 where she was a member of the Texas Tech Law Review and elected to the Order of the Coif. Following law school, Professor Outenreath was an associate and eventually a partner in the Dallas office of Thompson & Knight LLP, where she specialized in business tax planning, including corporate tax and partnership tax planning, as well as state and local tax. Professor Outenreath also served as the firm-wide hiring partner. She was named a Texas Rising Star by Texas Monthly Magazine in 2004-2010. Professor Outenreath is actively involved in the Tax Section of the State Bar of Texas, serving as the editor of the Texas Tax Lawyer in 2006-2009, Vice Chair of the State and Local Tax Committee in 2007-2011, Council Member in 2009-present. For 2011-2012, she will serve as chair of the State Bar of Texas Tax Section State and Local Tax Committee as well serve as a member of the Leadership Development Committee.

Kelly Kaufhold

Dr. Kelly Kaufhold is an assistant professor of journalism. He teaches multiplatform reporting and has taught radio, television and multimedia reporting, advanced writing and public affairs reporting, and writing for the media and the press in contemporary society. His research examines the role of age in news and the role of news in informed democracy, including an experimental game to get young adults more interested in news.

Professor Kaufhold first worked in radio in 1979 and in television in 1981. Over a 30-year career, he worked as a reporter, videographer, producer and manager in Ohio, Texas and Florida. For 14 years in Miami, he worked for the CBS and NBC-owned television stations and spent five years as a magazine reporter and as director of media relations at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Professor Kaufhold earned a master's degree in communication studies in 2007 at the University of Miami and a Ph.D. in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011, where he was named Teaching Assistant of the Year for the College of Communication.

Duane Hill

Duane Hill is the director of the Texas Tech University "Goin' Band from Raiderland" as well as director of the Concert Band. He holds a bachelor of secondary music education from Texas Tech University under Keith Bearden and Christopher Anderson and a master of music in conducting from Dr. Sarah McKoin.

Previously, Mr. Hill was the associate director of bands at Leander High School. During his tenure, he facilitated the private lesson program, coordinated the leadership team and conducted school musicals. The Leander Band increased their membership, cultivated a strong leadership team and continued their tradition of musical excellence during his four-year span with the program. Mr. Hill is currently the administrative assistant and leadership facilitator with Solutions and Specialized Innovations (S.A.S.I.), which specializes in student empowerment in music students across Texas.

His professional affiliations include: College Band Directors National Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, College Music Society and Kappa Kappa Psi.