From the November 2015 Desktop News | Two professors in the College of Arts and Sciences, Drs. Paul Houghtaling and Timothy Snowden, received Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Awards from The University of Alabama’s National Alumni Association. These awards are the University’s highest honor recognizing excellence in teaching.
Houghtaling is an associate professor of voice in UA’s School of Music and is the director of UA’s Opera Theatre. 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 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.
Snowden is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry. He teaches organic chemistry 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 American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund Minority Fellow, five National Science Foundation Research in Undergraduate Institutions students, four National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates 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 American Chemical Society 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 a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at The University of Pennsylvania.