The University of Texas at Dallas

Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science

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Professors Honored by Students, Benefactors at Investiture Ceremony

Professors Honored by Students, Benefactors at Investiture Ceremony

Seventeen faculty members were among the 20 honored at the Investiture Ceremony. The honorees were each recognized briefly by a student speaker they selected, and then received a medallion from the University's president and their respective deans.
"This recognition is just another example of how the University's leadership is committed to excellence and facilitating research," said Dr. Alvaro Cardenas, Fellow, Eugene McDermott Professor.
Dr. Robert Gregg and his wife, Dr. Kristin Drogos, ATEC assistant professor, celebrate his appointment as Fellow, Eugene McDermott Professor with Gregg's parents, Robert (left) and Leslie (right), who flew in from Seattle for the ceremony.
"This honor will give me the strength to be an ambassador for The University of Texas at Dallas as it grows to be one of the top universities in the States, and in the world," said Dr. Leonidas Bleris (second from right), with Benson, bioengineering graduate student Tyler Quarton and Dr. Poras Balsara, interim dean of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.
"The name McDermott has been the most common name I've heard since joining UT Dallas, and rightly so considering the enormous contribution this family has made to the institution," said Dr. Majid Minary, Fellow, Eugene McDermott Professor.
Dr. Rashaunda Henderson (center) celebrates with her family, from left, sister Yolanda Henderson-Davis; father Billy Bell; mother Janice Henderson; and aunt Barbara Chitman.
"UTD is a relatively young but very ambitious university. When you mention all the best names in the country MIT, Harvard, etc. they all have one thing in common with UTD. They make sustained long-term investments in their professors, and they stick with them," said Dr. William Anderson, with wife, Brittany, and their three children Sam, 7; Claire, 5; and Jack, 8 months.

Dr. Rashaunda Henderson, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, recently thanked the McDermott family for her endowed position.

“I want to thank them for their vision and commitment to UT Dallas, and the fact that they have stuck with us over the past 50 years knowing that this University was going to do great things,” she said. “I also want to thank my very first mentor, my mother. She was always someone who kept me grounded. When I was in high school, I made straight A’s for the first time, and I called her to tell her about it. She said, ‘Great, now go clean your room.’ ”

Henderson was among 20 faculty members to receive new appointments during the 2018 University Investiture Ceremony, where they were recognized before their families, colleagues, mentors and students. Eight from the Jonsson School receives appointments.

UT Dallas has more than 120 chairs and professorships that recognize the scholarship and research of senior faculty members.

The honorees were each recognized briefly by a student speaker they selected. They then received a medallion from University President Richard C. Benson and their respective deans.

Dr. William Anderson, assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the Jonsson School, summed up the spirit of the ceremony by paying tribute to the University as a whole.

“We enjoy a level of professional independence here that is without precedent,” he said. “That is good for the students, good for the University and ultimately good for the country. And it is very much in line for what the McDermotts had in mind for this gift.”

The other Jonsson School Professors recently honored were


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