Tatiana Erukhimova -- being celebrated here at last week's DEEP Showcase -- is one of seven Presidential Professors for Teaching Excellence in the College of Science and the second recipient of Texas A&M University's most prestigious award for teaching performance from the Department of Physics and Astronomy.


Dr. Tatiana Erukhimova, instructional associate professor of physics and astronomy, has been recognized with the 2017 Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence Award, the most prestigious faculty honor bestowed by Texas A&M University in recognition of classroom performance.

Erukhimova joins Dr. Reuben A. Buford May, professor of sociology and Glasscock University Professor in Undergraduate Teaching Excellence in the College of Liberal Arts, in being honored with the award, announced Wednesday (May 10) by Texas A&M President Michael K. Young.

"Transformational learning is imperative to the success of Texas A&M and the capabilities of our students to change the world," Young said. "I am proud to recognize the excellent teaching of Dr. May and Dr. Erukhimova with this honor."

The prestigious award, established in 2003 by former Texas A&M President Robert M. Gates to underscore the importance of teaching at a major research university, provides for presentation each spring of two Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence Awards. Each comes with a one-time, after-tax $25,000 stipend that includes the title of "Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence" -- a designation retained by the recipient for the remainder of his or her career. The two professors selected each year are formally introduced at the university's spring commencement ceremonies at which their respective colleges will award degrees. A lecture series also is being planned for the upcoming academic year in which both professors will share their expertise with colleagues and continuing enhancement for transformational learning at Texas A&M.

Erukhimova, a faculty member in the Texas A&M Department of Physics and Astronomy since 2006, earned her Ph.D. from the Russian Academy of Sciences. Her passion for inspiring learning through science has motivated the creation of several innovative programs that integrate education with science outreach and community service, including DEEP (Discover, Explore and Enjoy Physics and Engineering), the Texas A&M Physics Show, Just Add Science and Real Physics Live. In addition, Erukhimova coordinates the annual Texas A&M Physics and Engineering Festival, an event that attracts several thousand visitors to campus each spring.

By combining high expectations with devoted support, Erukhimova transforms the relationship her students have with physics -- building confidence and instilling success by helping them, as one student put it, to "see physics everywhere." As another student said, her lectures "skillfully blend the intensity of physics with an atmosphere of excitement and fun."

Watch Tatiana Erukhimova present "Physics as a Street Art" as part of TEDxTAMU in April 2016:

Erukhimova is a co-author along with Texas A&M Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Sciences Dr. Gerald R. North of the textbook Atmospheric Thermodynamics, published by Cambridge University Press (2009). A three-time recipient of the Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching -- one university level and two college level -- she also was recognized three times as part of the Texas A&M University System Student Led Awards for Teaching Excellence (SLATE) program. In addition, Erukhimova has received the John E. Trott Jr. Award in Student Recruiting and the Sigma Xi Outstanding Science Communicator Award.

Nominations for the Presidential Professor awards are made by students, faculty members and deans in each of the university's colleges and schools. To be eligible for the award, nominees must be full-time faculty and hold the rank of lecturer, senior lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor, professor or distinguished professor.

Erukhimova is the seventh College of Science faculty member to merit the coveted honor since its inception in 2003, the same year in which fellow physics professor Dr. William H. Bassichis earned selection as one of the award's two inaugural recipients. Chemistry professors Dr. David E. Bergbreiter (2006), the late Dr. John L. Hogg (2007), Dr. Wendy L. Keeney-Kennicutt (2009) and Dr. Larry Brown (2013) also received the honor. In 2012, mathematics professor Dr. Harold P. Boas became the first recipient in the Department of Mathematics' history.

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About Texas A&M University: Texas A&M University, established in 1876 as the first public university in Texas, is one of the nation's largest universities with more than 66,000 students and more than 427,000 living alumni residing in over 150 countries around the world. A tier-one university, Texas A&M holds the rare triple land-, sea- and space-grant designation. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of more than $892.7 million in fiscal year 2016. Texas A&M's research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in many cases, in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. The school's Lead by Example campaign is a comprehensive effort to raise $4 billion by the year 2020, making it the largest higher education campaign in Texas history and the second largest conducted nationally by a public university. Aggies are known for their deep commitment to the success of each other and a strong desire to serve. To learn more about Texas A&M, visit http://www.tamu.edu/about/at-a-glance.html.


Contact: Chad Wootton, Associate Vice President for External Affairs, (979) 845-4016 or c-wootton@tamu.edu

Woottan Chad

  • Dr. Tatiana Erukhimova

  • Erukhimova, perfecting one of her famous balloon animals as part of Just Add Science, featured each month in conjunction with the Downtown Bryan Association's First Friday festivities.

  • Erukhimova, presenting at TEDxTAMU 2016.

  • Erukhimova with 2015 Texas A&M Physics and Engineering Festival headliner and world-famous string theorist Brian Greene.

© Texas A&M University. To request use of any of our photographs for educational use or to view additional options from our archive, please contact the College of Science Communications Office.

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