U H Home Search University of Houston
April 28, 2005

  Outstanding Faculty Recognized With Awards  

Next Award Recipient

Photo by Mark Lacy
Martin Melosi


When Martin Melosi steps into the classroom, he’s reminded why he’s remained at the University of Houston for 20 years.

“The students at this university are very engaged,” said Melosi, a UH distinguished professor of history and recipient of this year’s Esther Farfel Award — the highest honor accorded to a University faculty member. “I find myself learning as much from them as they probably learn from me.”

Aside from enjoying the stimulating classroom dialogue, Melosi admits that UH and the city of Houston make an ideal home for his academic interests, which include urban and environmental history and the history of technology.

Considering the university’s urban setting and Houston’s complex social and industrial landscape, Melosi said he has a perfect laboratory for his research.

“Being in an urban campus in a major city is crucial,” he said. “Houston is conducive to my work. I find that national urban and international urban trends are connected to the practical issues here in Houston.”

Melosi has authored 10 books, including “Garbage in the Cities: Refuse, Reform and the Environment,” “Public History and the Environment” and the award-winning “The Sanitary City: Urban Infrastructure in America from Colonial Times to the Present.”

His next book will center on the environmental history of Houston and will be co-authored by Joseph Pratt, Cullen Professor of Business and History.

In addition to his regular classroom activity, writing and research, Melosi has served as the director of graduate studies in the Department of History and will be chair of UH’s Research Council during the 2005 – 2006 academic year. He is also the director of UH’s Tenneco Distinguished Lecture Series.

“The Department of History values the many different activities he performs, the dedication he brings to this institution and ideas and advice he often imparts,” wrote Susan Kellogg, chair of the department of history and associate professor of history in her letter nominating Melosi for the Farfel Award.

The award includes a trophy and $10,000 cash prize that is provided through an endowment established by the late Aaron Farfel, former UH System Board of Regents Chair, in honor of his wife Esther.

Despite the high praise from colleagues, Melosi said that they are the ones who should be commended. Along with his students, his fellow faculty members also motivate him to strive for academic excellence.

“Since arriving at UH, the Department of History has been a congenial place to work,” Melosi said. “Teaching and research are celebrated and encouraged. That’s important to me.”

Staff writer Mike Emery

University of Houston State of Texas Privacy and Policies Homeland Security Compact with Texans Reporting Copyright Infringement Contact U H Feedback Site Map Statewide Search U H System