On November 2, Bush School faculty members and staff received awards recognizing outstanding performance and length of service. Acting Dean Andrew Card presented the awards at the annual fall faculty meeting.
Dr. Gabriela Thornton received the Association of Former Students College Teaching Award from Porter Garner, president and CEO of the Association. A senior lecturer in the Master’s Program in International Affairs, Dr. Thornton is known for her extensive subject matter knowledge, as well as her dedication to learning. Her students noted her focus on critical thinking and rational discussions in her classes, skills they found very valuable after graduation. Characterized by her students as a caring instructor, Dr. Thornton was also honored for her strong commitment to her students’ welfare.
The Bush School Faculty Excellence Award, funded by the Bush Foundation, was presented to Assistant Professor William Norris, who was recognized for outstanding contributions to the School. A specialist in Asian politics and security, Dr. Norris was cited for his willingness to allow students to pursue their specific research interests in the context of his courses. In addition to encouraging research, Dr. Norris was also commended by his students as having “…the heart of a teacher.”
The Outstanding Staff Award recognizes exceptional service by full-time staff members, based on their job knowledge, teamwork, customer service, enthusiasm, and professionalism. Two staff members were honored this year.
Rane Cunningham, business coordinator, was recognized for her hard work and dedication, resulting in positive outcomes for the School. One nominator cited Cunningham’s ability to juggle many tasks, her willingness to serve others, and her unfailingly cheerful attitude.
Karen Farnsworth, an administrative coordinator in the dean’s office, was honored for her unwavering dedication to her job, excellent customer service, and exemplary commitment to teamwork that allows multiple units of the College to operate seamlessly and effectively.
Dr. Jim Griffin was also recognized for thirty years of service. Griffin, an economics professor at A&M from 1983-2001 before moving to the Bush School, is the director of the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics and Public Policy and holds the Bob Bullock Chair in Public Policy and Finance.