POSTED: Friday, June 7, 2013 - 6:35am
UPDATED: Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 3:30pm
EDINBURG, TX (KVEO NEWS CENTER 23) — A professor in the mechanical engineering department at UTPA has been honored for his outstanding work in the classroom and in the lab. Here's Sandra Quintanilla with this week's News Center 23 report.
He is described by his colleagues as having a "contagious passion for doing whatever is possible to help students learn and succeed." His name is Constantine Tarawneh and he's an associate professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at UTPA. Dr. "T", as he's affectionately called, enjoys teaching in the classroom and being involved in research with his students . In fact the University recognized Dr. T's tireless efforts and dedication by awarding him this year's 2013 prestigious Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching. The honor was bestowed upon him at a special ceremony where distinguished UT Pan American educators were acknowledged for their hard work and commitment to higher education.
Dr. Robert Freeman, Mechanical Engineering Professor, "He really strives to get his students to perform to the upmost of their potential. He doesn't really allow them to hide away in the classroom. He challenges them and he gets I think he really does get the best out of most of the students in his classrooms. "
A native of Greece Dr. T has taught 17 different graduate and undergraduate courses and developed four new programs. He's also mentored more than 2,100 students through various campus activities, initiatives and research opportunities including quality work that's been recognized by the railroad industry. Dr. T. shared what this recognition means to him.
Dr. Constantine Tarawneh, Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor, "It's always good to be recognized for something you do and you work hard for. But truly the true measure of success as an educator is what your students do after they get out of your class, how they do in other classes, what they do in the workforce."
Dr. T. says the key to being a successful educator is to lead by example and always being available to help his students.
Dr. Constantine Tarawne, Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor, " I try to instill a work ethic in them. That you have to work hard and you’re working hard, not for anybody else,, ou’re working hard for yourself because you’re here to succeed."
Dr. T has received several departmental awards over his 10 years at UTPA including the prestigious UT System Regents' outstanding teaching award. His colleagues like to kid him about his numerous honors, but are sincerely proud of his accomplishments.
Dr. Samuel Freeman, "You have far exceeded what anyone would have expected of you and so really now let the rest of us have a chance. Thank you and congratulations."
I'm Sandra Quintanilla reporting for UTPA and News Center 23.