2022 Election Results

Nominees were asked to confirm their nomination by providing a brief statement on why they want to serve if elected. These statements, with links (if available) to the PI’s home page, are posted below. See the full College/Unit CPI seat allocations for 2022-2023.

2022-2023 CPI election results are noted below.

Vice Chair

  • Bernard, Jessica (Psychological and Brain Sciences) – “I am honored to have been nominated for the role of Vice Chair of the CPI. The university is in the midst of many transitions with the implementation of The Path Forward. As the associated changes are implemented over the coming months and years, it will be critical to assess and address the impacts of these changes on the community of PIs. While the hope is that the outcomes will be largely positive, given the broad interests of our research community and the extent of the many changes being put into place, there may be negatives that will need to be addressed. If elected Vice Chair, I am committed to working for the PI community across campus to ensure concerns are noted and passed on effectively. Furthermore, my goal is to continue the work of the CPI to ensure efficient protocols that allow us to conduct world-class research, and to help recruit top-tier doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows. Finally, I am particularly interested in working with the CPI to better gauge IT needs as they relate to data storage and sharing longer term, in light of new requirements from the NIH.

    I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. As a cognitive neuroscientist, my research focuses on understanding the neural underpinning of motor and cognitive declines associated with typical aging. I use multi-modal neuroimaging, behavioral assessments, non-invasive brain stimulation, and hormonal assays in my work. My funding portfolio includes the NIA, NIMH, and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. Currently, I am PI on a large 5-year longitudinal imaging project investigating cerebellar changes in middle and older adulthood, with a particular focus on sex differences and the influence of menopause in females. As a result, I have worked intensively with the staff and systems in place at SRS, and I am very familiar with issues and concerns related to the IRB. In addition, I also use large publicly available datasets in my work. This has made me particularly interested in issues related to data storage and data sharing as well as issues with compliance as it pertains to data usage agreements and how best to store and manage our own data here at TAMU. Across all of my lines of work, I am highly collaborative, working both within and across colleges, Nursing, Health and Kinesiology, and Biology. I will draw from the breadth of my work and experience interfacing with many of the offices critical to the research enterprise here at TAMU if elected to the Vice Chair position.” 

Agriculture and Life Sciences

  • Athrey, Giri (Poultry Science) – “I am honored to be nominated to represent the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the CPI. I am an associate professor in the Department of Poultry Science. My research focuses mainly on Avian Genetics and Functional Genomics. My research program is funded by the USDA, DoD, NSF, the State of Texas, and private foundations. I teach an undergraduate genetics course, and a graduate genomics and bioinformatics course. To date, my graduate course has trained students from 12 different graduate programs from across colleges. As a member of the graduate faculty in POSC, EEBL, FSTC, and BIOT, I have a grounding in different disciplines, and an appreciation of the varying priorities for research, infrastructure, and training in fundamental research and its applied aspects. As a member of the CPI, I will be a proponent for the interests of early- and mid-career faculty across the university. I will seek to work with my colleagues to enhance research and training capabilities at our university for all investigators.  Additional information can be located on my website: https://giriathrey.com.”


  • Zang, Hua (Biomedical Sciences)  “I am thankful for the nomination to serve as a member of the CPI representing the Principal Investigators from the College of Dentistry (COD). I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, COD. My current research focuses on the molecular mechanisms that govern tooth and bone biomineralization and the molecular pathogenesis underlying ectopic brain calcification. I am currently a PI or Collaborator on several active NIH grants. I understand the challenges and opportunities that we may encounter to establish collaborative research.  The CPI is an important platform for the research community to voice issues of concern and to work with administration to provide an effective and efficient research environment. If elected, I will seek to constructively interact with my colleagues and the administration to enhance our research enterprise. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the PIs at COD and contributing to the CPI in the next cycle.”

Education and Human Development

  • Hernandez, Paul (Teaching, Learning & Culture [TLAC]) –”Paul Hernandez is an Associate Professor in TLAC, with joint appointments in the Department of Educational Psychology and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. He directs the Motivation and Learning Lab (mll.tamu.edu), where his research focuses on mentoring and psychological factors that promote academic/career success (particularly among underrepresented groups in STEM) and on the design, measurement, and evaluation of interventions aimed at broadening participation in STEM. He has led multiple research grants as PI and co-PI and his research is funded by NIH and NSF (total over $6 million as PI/co-PI). Dr. Hernandez indicates, “I am honored to be nominated to serve my peers in SEHD and the broader TAMU research community as a member of the CPI. If elected, I will dedicate my efforts to serving and supporting emerging and continuing investigators. In particular, I will attend to critical issues related to pre-award support, post-award grants management support, IRB / human subjects issues, mentorship of new investigators, postdocs, and graduate students, as well as to promoting a supportive, inclusive, diverse, and equitable research community at TAMU.” 


  • Alge, Daniel (Biomedical Engineering)– “I am honored to be nominated to serve on the Council of Principal Investigators (CPI) as a representative of the College of Engineering. I am an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and I have been a faculty member at Texas A&M University since August 2014. The overarching goal of my group’s research is to advance healthcare through research on and involving hydrogel biomaterials. I have collaborated with investigators in other departments within the College of Engineering as well as investigators in the College of Medicine, College of Dentistry, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biological Sciences, College of Science, and College of Education & Human Development. I am also building translationally focused collaborations in the Texas Medical Center. My group’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. We have also worked with medical device companies. If elected to serve on the CPI, I will be an advocate for healthcare-focused multi-disciplinary research. I will work to effectively represent the needs and concerns of this community of researchers, and I will do all I can to enhance capabilities and promote innovative research in this area.”
  • Alvarado, Jorge (Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution) – “I am a professor in the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution.  Since joining Texas A&M in 2004, I have served my department and college in different capacities including the departmental and college-level promotion and tenure committees, among others.  I have served in the Faculty Senate and Council of Principal Investigators (CPI) in different committees over the last 12 years. I have been a strong believer that Texas A&M should continue to be a great place for superb ground-breaking research and service activities, while providing immeasurable value to the State and the Nation.  I will continue to be a strong advocate of all faculty members, specifically in matters of scholarly research.”


  • Ewing, Ryan (Geology and Geophysics) – “I am happy to have been nominated to represent the College of Geosciences. I think research serves as inspiration for the students of Texas A&M and the communities of Texas and elevates the University profile across academia, industry and government. Principal Investigators hold the important responsibilities of research and need a robust support structure to help ensure success. I have been PI on many proposals supported by NASA, NSF, and the National Park Service to study the atmospheric sediment transport systems and ancient rock records of Earth, Mars, Titan and other worlds in the solar system and recognize the excitement and challenges of being a PI at Texas A&M. As a representative, I will support the university research mission and commitment to academic freedom. Specific issues I am passionate about include supporting equity in hiring graduate students and postdocs, communicating with early career researchers and professors about being a PI, and supporting Texas A&M’s space grant mission. I look forward to serving on CPI.”
  • Fitzsimmons, Jessica (Oceanography) – “It is an honor to be nominated to represent the College of Geosciences on the Council of Principal Investigators. I have been an Assistant Professor in the College of Geosciences since 2015 in the Department of Oceanography. My lab studies inorganic nutrient, pollutant, and tracer chemical cycling in open ocean seawater, as well as in the coastal Gulf of Mexico, and we value our international reputation in making high precision and accuracy concentration, isotope ratio, and speciation analyses. Since joining Texas A&M, I have participated in sole-author, multi-PI, and multi-institution collaborative grants that have raised >$5 million from the National Science Foundation, the State of Texas, and corporate sponsors for both basic research and education projects. My collaborators span nearly all departments in the College, as well as GERG and IODP, and my membership in the International GEOTRACES Program also gives me experience as a sole-PI from Texas A&M operating within a large-scale collaborative program. I am also Co-Director of the R. Ken Williams Radiogenic Isotope Facility, which serves the inorganic concentration and isotope analysis needs of the College of Geosciences and the University as a whole. I am motivated to serve on the CPI in order to improve the support structure for core facilities and related research infrastructure, expand research opportunities and resources that can better the Texas A&M research enterprise, and advocate for the streamlining of guidelines and procedures presented to PIs during the proposal and active project phases of research. If elected, I plan to work hard to understand and communicate your concerns to the CPI in order to simplify processes and increase transparency in the research sector of Texas A&M.”

Liberal Arts

  • Brooker, Rebecca (Psychological and Brain Sciences) – “I am an Associate Professor and Associate Department Head in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and am the director of the Development of Mind and Emotions Laboratory at Texas A&M University. I am also a faculty affiliate of the Texas A&M Institute for Neuroscience and hold a courtesy appointment in the Department of Educational Psychology. My research is in the field of Developmental Affective Neuroscience, with a focus on how behavioral and biological factors interact to predict risk for anxiety problems in infants and toddlers and their mothers. This work largely leverages community samples and uses longitudinal mixed-method designs to answer questions about complex human behaviors and risk for mental illness. In addition to internal awards, my work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIMH, NICHD, NIGMS), the Society for Research in Child Development, the State of Montana Commissioner of Higher Education, and the John Templeton Foundation. I am currently a Co-PI on a multi-site award that tracks mothers and their infants across the first three years of life, leveraging survey, neuroimaging, and laboratory observations to understand anxiety risk across the dyad. I am also a standing member of the Psychosocial Development, Risk, and Prevention study section at NIH. I am interested in serving with CPI to continue to address critical issues confronted by faculty and trainee PIs and to identify additional ways to support faculty conducting cutting-edge, high impact research. I am motivated to remove obstacles to faculty and student grant applications and administration, to help faculty find expert collaborators for top-quality proposals, and to address current obstacles to the recruitment of and work with community samples in human subjects research. I would look forward to representing our faculty during the implementation of the new College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, with attention to supporting a faculty with diverse research interests in their efforts to continue to conduct top-quality work.”


  • Andrews-Polymenis, Helene (Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology) – “I am a Professor in the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology in the College of Medicine, and have a joint appointment in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine. I have held a faculty position at TAMHSC, and now TAMU since 2005, have experience leading research conducted funded by NIH, USDA (NIFA) and DARPA, have served on both NIH and USDA study section, and serve as a reviews editor at the journal Infection & Immunity. I have previously served the Council of Principal Investigators as a regular member, as a member of the executive committee, and as the Vice Chair and Chair. My primary purpose on the CPI is to represent the interests of the COM research faculty in the significant issues of policy related to research. In order to accomplish this, I will communicate with COM faculty in advance of CPI meetings to solicit input for each meeting. I will communicate faculty concerns and suggestions to the CPI and administrators that appear before this group, and provide feedback after each meeting to COM faculty. I will work on behalf of individual investigators to resolve any significant issues that can be influenced via the CPI. Finally, I hope to promote a constructive dialog with the administration on all issues that can improve the research environment on campus.”

School of Public Health 

  • Han, Gang (Epidemiology and Biostatistics)  “I would be honored to serve as a member of the Council of Principal Investigators. Faculty in Texas A&M School of Public Health (SPH) greatly value the rich opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with other schools in the TAMU community. I am willing to do my best to further enhance the connection and collaboration for the SPH faculties to facilitate the development of their research agendas. With the background in analytical sciences, I would be glad to help with relevant issues in the CPI. It would be my great pleasure to promote and assist the research of all investigators in TAMU.”

Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

  • Gaddy, Dana (Veterinary Integrative Biosciences) – “I am a Professor in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, and an NIH funded interdisciplinary researcher in musculoskeletal biology and endocrinology. As a member of the CPI I would be committed to: 1) encouraging the development of researchers and research capabilities on the TAMU campus, 2) being a voice for research-intensive faculty at all levels of TAMU system, 3) providing a conduit for both the TAMU administrators and research-intensive faculty at all levels of the TAMU system, and 4) enhancing opportunities to participate in multi-investigator and interdisciplinary research projects that can be leveraged for extramural funding.” 

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service 

  • Walker, Jamie-Rae (Recreation, Parks & Tourism Sciences – Dallas Center) – “I am honored to be nominated to represent AgriLife Extension on the CPI for a second term. I am currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences. For 10 years, I worked on campus; currently I am located at the Extension and Research Center in Dallas (since 2015). With experience as a PI and Co-I on over $10 million dollars of federal funding from entities such as the CDC and USDA, I understand the complexities and channels we must navigate to support programs and applied research efforts. As a member of an academic department and the TAMU Graduate Faculty, I am also aware of our often-intertwined roles with TAMU divisions and service providers, students, and supervisory roles. My research and Extension work is as a social scientist—focused primarily on people, places, polices, and land use. My collaborative efforts and connections at the Center do allow me some insight into the priorities and issues of our Extension colleagues in lab based and facility-based research settings.As our CPI rep, I will continue to provide insight on how policies, procedures, and processes will enhance or impact our ability to serve our constituents across the state and in our unique roles within the TAMU System PI landscape. I look forward to serving another term on CPI if elected.”

Texas A&M Transportation Institute 

  • Arámbula Mercado, Edith (Recyclable Materials, Materials and Pavement Division) – “I would like to serve as a member of the Council of Principal Investigators (CPI) representing the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI).  I have been with TTI for more than 10 years and currently perform as a Research Engineer and Program Manager of the Recyclable Materials in the Materials and Pavement Division.  My interest in collaborating with the CPI is to represent TTI researchers within a broader audience, across the University and other agencies.  By acting a liaison, issues or concerns that affect TTI researchers can be effectively communicated to the larger Principal Investigators’ community.  I look forward to collaborating as TTI representative to the CPI if elected.”

*The CPI defines a “PI” as a PI or Co-PI on at least one externally reviewed and funded project or grant within the previous three years. –see bylaws, Section 2. Representation, A. Definition of PI

**see bylaws Section 2. Representation, F. Allocation of Seats