News Release

UTA honors two faculty for distinguished scholarship

Sam Haynes and Jaehoon Yu recognized for their accomplishments in research

Grant and Award Announcement

University of Texas at Arlington

Sam W. Haynes and Jaehoon Yu


Sam W. Haynes, professor of history, and Jaehoon Yu, professor of physics

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Credit: Photo credit UT Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is honoring two faculty for their outstanding contributions to scholarship with the Distinguished Record of Research or Creativity Award.

Sam W. Haynes, professor of history, and Jaehoon Yu, professor of physics, are the 2024 recipients of the award, which recognizes faculty who have achieved a distinguished record of scholarship over an extended period.

“Jae and Sam have each been at UTA for more than 20 years, and they have each truly made an impact in the lives of the students we prepare for future careers,” said Kate C. Miller, vice president of research and innovation. "In addition, their contributions to the scholarship in their respective fields will serve as the foundation for other researchers for years to come.”

The College of Liberal Arts nominated Haynes in recognition of his scholarship in the study of race, national identity and power in the 19th-century United States. He is the author of four books, several edited volumes and other scholarly works. His most recent publication is the 2022 prize-winning “Unsettled Land: From Revolution to Republic, The Struggle for Texas.”

Since 2009, he has been the director of UTA’s Center for Greater Southwestern Studies, where he led the development of two major digital humanities projects: “A Continent Divided: The U.S.-Mexico War” and “Border Land: Interethnic Violence in Texas, 1821-1879.”

“Haynes has had broad impact within and beyond the University,” said David LaFevor, chair of the UTA History Department Research Committee, which nominated Haynes. “Sam has facilitated and hosted teacher workshops, symposia, book talks and photographic exhibits. Within the History Department, he is known for his pivotal support of the careers of young scholars. One recently tenured professor commented, ‘When weighing my initial job offer from UTA, the fact that Sam was a member of the department was a key determinant in my acceptance.’”

“It’s an honor to be recognized by my friends and colleagues,” said Haynes, who completed his undergraduate education at Columbia University before pursing his Ph.D. at the University of Houston. “It’s a testament to the great support available in UTA’s History Department that I have been able to accomplish so much in my more than 30 years here.”

Yu has been a key member of UTA’s high-energy physics group since coming to Arlington in 2001. Early in his career, he was a pioneer in grid computing by helping organize many universities in the region and creating a program at UTA where students could work with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois.

Yu also worked on the large hadron collider with the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland, the world’s largest particle accelerator, where in 2012 he helped discover the Higgs particle.

Recently, he brought UTA into the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, the nation’s flagship global project to build a particle detector one mile underground in Lead, South Dakota.

Yu’s group, which includes many graduate and undergraduate students, is responsible for construction of large components of this detector through early 2030.

“Jae is at the forefront in science,” said Manfred Cuntz, professor of physics at UTA who nominated Yu for the award. “His decisive impact and tireless work have become a model for faculty and students alike, both at UTA and in many institutions around the world.”

“I am humbled to be recognized with this award,” said Yu, who received his undergraduate degree in physics from Korea University in Seoul and his Ph.D. from the State University of New York-Stony Brook. “I am especially grateful to my family and my fellow researchers and students at UTA and at labs around the who have helped me on these exciting projects.”

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