UTEP Engineering Professor is Named Educator of the Year
Anahy Diaz | October 6, 2020
College of Engineering assistant professor at The University of Texas at El Paso, Adeeba Raheem, Ph.D., was recently awarded the 2020 Educator of the Year - Higher Education Award by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE).
The recognition is part of SHPE’s annual Technical Achievement and Recognition (STAR) Awards, which honor outstanding professionals for their dedication, commitment, and selfless efforts to advance Hispanic students in STEM careers.
“I am deeply honored to be recognized among the distinguished group of educators and professionals selected for the STAR award this year,” said Raheem, assistant professor of the Civil Engineering department.
STAR’s Educators of the Year category recognizes the excellent contributions made by administrators and faculty at the K-12 and university level to improve the learning environment for Hispanics. A mission in which Raheem has been an exemplary educator since she joined UTEP in 2014, after earning her Ph.D. in construction management from the University of Florida.
“I have always felt that being an educator is a privilege that provides an opportunity to impact so many lives at so many different levels,” Raheem said. “My profession is my greatest passion and I strive every day to enhance my students’ ability to pave their way to success.”
In the past six years at UTEP, Raheem has devoted her time to teaching online and face-to-face core courses for the construction management program in the civil engineering department. In this program, she has taught more than 1,700 students at the University.
“I dedicate this award to all my students. I feel privileged to have an opportunity to teach and mentor them and be a part of their academic journey,” Raheem said.
Raheem’s research interests include sustainable cities, construction safety, construction management, and sustainable construction. These interests have led her to secure a research portfolio of more than $2 million in projects funded by various United States federal agencies and non-profit organizations like the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of State, U.S. National Science Foundation, and VentureWell.
Due to Raheem’s extensive background, she has served as merit reviewer for various federal agencies and institutions such as the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF), DOE-NE's Consolidated Innovative Research- Construction Group, and the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education.
“This award has further strengthened my motivation to nurture the minds of my students, so that they can become a productive part of their community and serve as an inspiration for the future first-generation college students,” Raheem said.
The passion she holds for teaching and her contribution to the education of UTEP’s emerging engineers, is what has led Raheem to be recognized by SHPE this year, after the organization’s rigorous evaluation of her achievements and contributions.
“Dr. Raheem has distinguished herself for her selfless commitment to our educational mission. She is a role model to be followed by our younger faculty,” said Carlos Ferregut, Ph.D., chair and professor of UTEP’s civil engineering department. “SHPE has chosen the best person to receive this award. We are all very proud of her.”
Raheem credits her success to hard work and is a lesson she seeks to convey to her students every day.
“Dream big and keep working hard to achieve your dreams,” Raheem said. “There are no shortcuts to success.”
SHPE is set to recognize its STAR Award recipients during its virtual 2020 National Convention that will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET and Thursday, Oct. 29 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET.