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Kumar, Martell, Schneider receive Regents Awards for contributions to Texas A&M System

Three from Texas A&M Engineering were recognized for their outstanding contributions to The Texas A&M University System and their respective fields of expertise by the Board of Regents. Dr. P.R. Kumar was named a Regents Professor, and Marilyn Martell and Dr. Dean Schneider were recipients of the Regents Fellow Service Award.

Kumar is the College of Engineering Chair in Computer Engineering and a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M. He has been awarded numerous academic titles and awards. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from ETH, Zurich, and has received the Outstanding Contribution Award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) SIGMOBILE, the Infocom Achievement Award, the SIGMOBILE Test-of-Time Paper Award, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Field Award for Control Systems, the Donald P. Eckman Award of the American Automatic Control Council and the Fred W. Ellersick Prize of the IEEE Communications Society. Kumar is a member of the U.S. and Indian National Academies of Engineering and a Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences. He also is an ACM Fellow and a Fellow of IEEE.

"Dr. Kumar is a true scholar, a leader in many research fields, a passionate teacher and mentor," said Dr. Miroslav Begovic, head of the electrical and computer engineering department, in his nomination letter. "He embodies academic excellence, with achievements that have an impact on Texas A&M University, the state of Texas, our nation and internationally."

Martell has served as the senior assistant vice chancellor for marketing and communications for Texas A&M Engineering more than 16 years. She is directly responsible for marketing, communications and public relations for the College of Engineering and TEES, as well as providing strategic brand development and guidance to maximize the strengths of the Texas A&M System Engineering Program. During her tenure, Martell has elevated and maximized the Texas A&M Engineering and Texas A&M System brands. Some of her greatest accomplishments include the crisis communications she led during the deployment of Texas Task Force 1 to the World Trade Center and coordinating the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition Design Weekend held at Texas A&M in 2016, which had such an impact on the community that Martell received the Hometown Hero Award from the Convention Sales Department at the Bryan/College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"Ms. Martell is a person of integrity who embraces our core values and encourages others to do the same," said Dr. Diane Hurtado, associate vice president for federal relations, in the nomination letter. "She has demonstrated a long history of professional service to the A&M System, which I have had the privilege of witnessing. As I chart her future trajectory based on her historical performance, I am convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that we can only expect extraordinary and spectacular things from her in the future."

Schneider is the co-director of the Gulf Coast Regional Manufacturing Center of the Texas A&M Energy Institute, and a Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Center Fellow. He is a retired U.S. Air Force research and development engineer with over 30 years of experience in technology program management and development. After joining TEES, Schneider helped provide organization and vision to TEES researchers in responding to federal manufacturing initiatives, leading to significant involvement in five national Manufacturing U.S.A institutes, including regional leadership in three of them. He has received many awards during his career, including an Air Force Commendation Medal, an Air Force Logistic Command Outstanding Company Grade Military Engineer of the Year Award and numerous Air Force Meritorious Service Medals.

"Dr. Schneider is a model of servant leadership and consistently demonstrates his commitment to serving others," said Dr. Dimitris Lagoudas, TEES deputy director and associate vice chancellor for engineering research, in his nomination letter. "His sustained contributions to the mission of TEES makes him an exemplary asset to our agency providing extension in research to the Residents, both private and corporate, of the state of Texas."

The Board of Regents established the Regents Professor Awards program in 1996 and the Regents Fellow Service Awards program in 1998 to recognize employees who have made exemplary contributions to their university or agency and to the people of Texas.

The Regents Professor Award honors individuals at the rank of professor or equivalent whose distinguished performance in teaching, research and service have been exemplary. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the A&M System on faculty members.

The Regents Fellow Service Award honors and recognizes extension, research and service professionals within the agricultural and engineering agencies, health science center and veterinary medical diagnostic laboratory. These professionals must have demonstrated a significant commitment and contributions to their respective agency by providing exceptional leadership in educational or program delivery/scholarship, research or service that have resulted in significant impact and lasting benefits to the state of Texas and beyond.

"These professors and professionals make The Texas A&M University System extraordinary," said Board of Regents Chairman Charles Schwartz in a statement. "Because of them, the universities and agencies within The Texas A&M University System will continue to thrive."