The associate dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies, Larry Abraham, was selected to receive the esteemed 2013 Civitatis Award in recognition of his outstanding service to the university. Established in 1997, the award, which will be presented at an event this spring, recognizes dedicated service to the university in teaching, research and writing.
The award’s name derives from the Latin motto that appears on the university’s seal – Disciplina Praesidium Civitatis – taken from the words of Mirabeau B. Lamar, former president of the Republic of Texas, meaning “Cultivated mind is the guardian of democracy.”
“I am very surprised and appreciative to have been nominated and selected to receive this award,” said Abraham. “I am happy to have been able to help develop and support innovative initiatives and cross-disciplinary efforts that provide exciting new opportunities to students and faculty, as the University continues to evolve and provide leadership for Texas, the nation, and the world. These include new interdisciplinary courses and programs, creative new applications for technology and the transformation of the undergraduate core curriculum.”
Abraham, a professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education (KHE), has held many leadership roles at the university. His first foray into administrative work was as the KHE departmental undergraduate program director from 1989-91, during which time the bachelor of science degree in kinesiology was created.
Abraham served as associate dean of the College of Education from 1998 to 2002 and was chairman of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction from 2000 to 2008. He has been co-director of UTeach Natural Sciences since 2003. He was a member of the Task Force on Curricular Reform, which led to the creation of the School of Undergraduate Studies. He became associate dean of Undergraduate Studies in 2009.
Abraham’s research interests include motor skill performance and learning, human motor coordination and innovative uses of instructional technology. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in motor learning, neuromotor control, and biomechanics.
“While there are a great many people who have provided exemplary service to The University of Texas, Larry Abraham is among the most dedicated and hardest working professors,” said Dr. John Bartholomew, professor and interim chair of KHE. “Not only is he a vital member of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education and the College of Education, but his impact has been felt throughout the University. His work on UTeach alone will leave a lasting legacy and that is only one aspect of his contributions. I am so happy that the efforts are being publicly recognized.”
Abraham joined the UT Austin faculty in 1975, teaching courses in biomechanics and neural control of movement in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. He received his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio; his master of science degree from Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia, Kansas; and his doctorate in education from Columbia University.