UA Alumni Association Honors Four Faculty Members with Teaching Awards

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama National Alumni Association has announced the 2015 recipients of the University’s highest honor for excellence in teaching – the Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Awards.

This year’s honorees are Dr. Mark E. Barkey, professor in the department of aerospace engineering and mechanics in the College of Engineering; Kimberly K. Boone, director of the Legal Writing Program and legal writing lecturer in UA’s School of Law; Dr. Paul Houghtaling, associate professor of voice and director of UA’s Opera Theatre in the College of Arts and Sciences; and Dr. Timothy S. Snowden, associate professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences.

John Hodges, district vice president of the National Alumni Association, recognized, along with UA President Stuart R. Bell, the 2015 award recipients at the Tuesday, Oct. 20, fall faculty-staff meeting in the Bryant Conference Center.

An awards presentation also occurs at the NorthRiver Yacht Club with Lee Boles, president of the National Alumni Association.

The 2015 recipients are:

Dr. Mark E. Barkey
Dr. Mark E. Barkey

Dr. Mark E. Barkey joined UA in 1995 and was promoted to professor in 2006. He was a senior engineer in the Fatigue Synthesis and Analysis group at General Motors Mid-Size Car Division and worked during the summers during graduate school in the Structural Life Development Group of the Current Product Engineering Division of General Motors from 1989 to 1991. Barkey’s research is in the areas of fatigue testing and analysis of structures and materials. He has received support for his research from Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Sandia National Laboratories, NASA and other sponsors, mainly for determining materials property data in support of CAE modeling. Barkey has published more than 65 refereed publications and is the co-author of two books on fatigue analysis. His publications are in the areas of spot-weld testing and analysis, multiaxial fatigue and cyclic plasticity of metals, and multiaxial notch analysis. His research often involves the design of specialty test fixtures and data acquisition systems.

His teaching philosophy is to teach the fundamentals of engineering stress analysis rigorously while relating the concepts to common experiences and insights through research projects, past work experience, and consulting activities. He has advised 15 theses and dissertations and has served on numerous dissertation and thesis committees. He received a Bachelor of Science in engineering mechanics with a minor in mathematics from the University of Missouri-Rolla and a Master of Science and doctorate from the University of Illinois in theoretical and applied mechanics. At UA, he has received the Tau Beta Pi Outstanding Faculty Award and the Charles Henry Ratcliff Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Kimberly K. Boone
Kimberly K. Boone

Kimberly K. Boone is a magna cum laude graduate of UA’s School of Law. As a student, she was elected to Order of the Coif and Order of the Barristers. She was also a member of the Alabama Law Review and the Jessup International Law Moot Court Team. After graduation, she practiced with Lehr Middlebrooks Price & Proctor P.C. (now Lehr Middlebrooks & Vreeland P.C.) in Birmingham. She specialized in employment law matters. In addition to traditional litigation, she assisted her clients in creating employee handbooks, conducting internal investigations and providing EEO training for supervisors and employees. She was also a contributing editor for the Alabama Employment Law Letter and the Alabama Employer’s Desk Manual.

After five years in practice, she returned to the UA and joined the faculty. She has taught legal writing to one quarter of the first-year class since August 2000 and was appointed director of the Legal Writing and Moot Court Programs in 2003. She has also contributed to “1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor’s Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law School,” now in its second edition. Along with her outstanding colleagues in the legal writing program, she has been selected to present at three national legal writing conferences and many regional conferences. She is honored to mentor many of her students and to work with colleagues who recognize the importance of teaching students to write and speak clearly. She hopes to continue to improve the legal writing and moot court programs by working with practicing lawyers to understand the skills students must have to succeed as lawyers. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and business administration from Huntingdon College and was a member of the Hooding Team for UA Law graduating classes of 2014 and 2015.

houghtaling-1Dr. Paul Houghtaling joined the School of Music faculty in 2007. Under his leadership, UA’s Opera Theatre has gained national recognition as a training institution, preparing aspiring singers for careers in opera and musical theatre. He has taught and mentored students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels who are now appearing at opera houses, concert halls and theatres across the United States. He designed and initiated a complete curriculum for contemporary opera training, creating performance and teaching opportunities to meet the career needs and interests of individual members. Students obtain practical, applicable experience in acting, dance, movement, stage combat and improvisation and regularly appear in a variety of Opera Theatre performances. In addition, Houghtaling has partnered with other faculty in creating learning and teaching opportunities for students in other departments across campus. Students in Houghtaling’s voice studio are regular winners and finalists of national and state competitions. Houghtaling also is the artistic director of the Druid City Opera Workshop, an opera training and young artists program for young singers, pianists and directors from across the United States and abroad.

Houghtaling’s career highlights as a performer include European tours as Papageno in “Die Zauberflöte” with Teatro Lirico d’Europa; a debut with the Bard Music Festival and the American Symphony Orchestra in Haydn’s “L’Infedeltá Delusa”; several appearances at Carnegie Hall with a variety of ensembles and orchestras; works of Bach with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s “Bach Cantatas in Context” Series; and U.S. tours with the Waverly Consort. Houghtaling holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and music from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts; a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston; a Master of Arts in music form Hunter College in New York; and a Doctor of Musical Arts in vocal performance and Literature from the City University of New York. He received the Morris Lehman Mayer Award from UA and The Druid Arts Award for Music Educator of the Year from Arts Council of Tuscaloosa County, both in 2015. He also was one of “Six Intriguing People” by Tuscaloosa Magazine for his teaching and work with the UA Opera Theatre in spring 2015.

Dr. Timothy S. Snowden
Dr. Timothy S. Snowden

Dr. Timothy Snowden joined the UA faculty in 2003 as an assistant professor and was promoted in 2009. He teaches organic chemistry courses and medicinal chemistry at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as an applied chemistry survey course for undergraduates of all majors. Snowden devised and directed two new UA Freshman Learning Communities incorporating relevant experiments, videos and interactive demonstrations for each class session. In addition, he helped design and supervise interactive chemistry experiments for visiting local high school chemistry classes. Three of the eight courses he teaches are new to UA. Snowden has mentored 46 undergraduate researchers, including two Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst RISE Interns, an ACS Petroleum Research Fund Minority Fellow, five NSF RUI students, four NSF REU students and two UA Emerging Scholars. He has trained and supervised two postdoctoral researchers and served as the dissertation chair of 12 graduate students. Five of those students have been awarded doctoral degrees, and two have been awarded master’s degrees. He mentors five graduate and three undergraduate researchers in his UA lab. The Snowden group focuses on developing new organic chemistry reactions, synthesizing biologically active small molecules and drug discovery. Snowden is the author of 23 publications, and his research has been funded through a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the ACS Petroleum Research Fund and industrial sponsors. He has given 58 research presentations, including seven in Europe.

Snowden holds a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Clemson University and a doctorate in organic chemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. He was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at The University of Pennsylvania. He has received the Organic & Medicinal Chemistry Journal’s 10 Best Reviewer Award in 2014 and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2009-2014. He also is an invited contributor to “Tetrahedron Young Investigator Symposium-in-Print.”


Richard LeComte, media relations,, 205/348-3782


Robin Elmore, Alumni Office, 205/348-1545,