Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA Gala to honor outstanding faculty members

December 8, 2010 - Shirley Luna
Dr. I-Kuai Hung is the recipient of the Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching.

Two Stephen F. Austin State University faculty members will be honored during the annual Gala presented by Stephen F. Austin State University on Saturday, Dec. 11, in the Grand Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center.

The faculty achievement awards presented during the ceremony recognize innovation and excellence in teaching and research. Dr. I-Kuai Hung is the recipient of the Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching, and Dr. Gregory Miller is the recipient of the Faculty Achievement Award for Research.

After receiving degrees from the National Taiwan University, Hung enjoyed a successful career as superintendent of a forest recreation center in Taiwan. He left that behind in 2000 to come to SFA and pursue a doctoral degree in the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture. While completing his dissertation, Hung became extremely proficient in the use of GIS software, hardware, and applications and, as a result, was asked to join the faculty in 2003.

"Dr. Hung is always at the student's side, patiently assisting as they learn the intricacies of geographic information systems," said Dr. Steven Bullard, dean of the college. "He brings a high level of energy to his teaching, and he has developed and refined his courses over the years to stay abreast of the myriad changes that characterize this computer-related field of science."

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recently approved SFA's spatial science baccalaureate degree, and Hung is developing the first online course that will be offered as a part of that program. In addition to his work in the classroom, Dr. Hung has created and conducted GIS workshops to familiarize faculty, staff, students and practitioners with the latest developments in the spatial sciences.

Miller earned a bachelor's degree in mathematical sciences from Baylor University, along with graduate degrees at Southern Methodist University. He joined the SFA faculty in 1997 and is a professor in Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He has authored two statistics textbooks and 11 journal articles.

Miller is director of the Statistical Consulting Center at SFA and has conducted research for awards totaling $1.7 million. His research with the Richard and Lucille DeWitt School of Nursing has produced criteria for identification of at-risk nursing students, recommendations regarding appropriate interventions and a system for tracking student success. "Because of the project's success and the nursing shortage, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recently approved a $3 million extension for a statewide replication study," said Dr. Deborah Pace, chair of the math department. "This project will provide funding for the SFA Statistical Consulting Center to analyze data from 20 to 40 other Texas nursing programs utilizing the at-risk protocol. Funded nursing programs will contract directly with SFA for statistical consulting. His work has brought recognition to SFA not only in the mathematics and statistics community, but across a variety of disciplines and professions."

Bill and Barbara Gandy, Joe Max and Jane Green, and Ray and the late Gayla Mize are among the donors to be honored at the Gala, along with the Beaumont Foundation of America.

The Gala opening reception begins at 6 p.m. and will be followed by a candlelight dinner at 7 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by the Tom Houston Combo and by Dallas-based entertainers TOP, playing a variety of smooth jazz, Motown, disco, oldies and today's hits.

Tickets are $165 for orchestra seating and $115 for ballroom seating. Proceeds from the Gala help build a permanent endowment created by the SFA Foundation to honor faculty achievement.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call (936) 468-5406.