Teaching Excellence Convocation


The nominees were:




Linda Morales

Applied Arts and Sciences

Social Work

Timothy Clipson


Administrative Services

Dale Perritt



John Daniel

Fine Arts


Montague Whiting



Robert Szafran

Liberal Arts


Norman Markworth

Sciences & Mathematics

Physics and Astronomy

And the winner was: Robert Szafran

The multi-faceted talents of Dr. Robert Szafran have created an intriguing dilemma for the associate professor of sociology and assistant dean of the School of Liberal Arts.

He finds administrative work ''interesting and stimulating," but also enjoys teaching and will always remain active in research.

All three areas are being served by Szafran in his current roles. As assistant dean, he coordinates the Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP) at SFA and helps in advising the 1,200 or so undecided majors each fall while still teaching three courses each long semester. He also finds time for considerable research, as a string of published and presented papers will attest, along with his 1984 book on "Universities and Women Faculty: Why Some Organizations Discriminate More Than Others."

A native of Chicago, Szafran came to SFA in the fall of 1983 from the University of Iowa. He holds the Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University of Chicago and his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin.

A recipient of numerous faculty research grants both here and at Iowa, Szafran also has accumulated outstanding teaching awards, grants, fellowships and various other honors.

He jokingly notes that he has worked his way downward in population centers from the childhood metropolis of Chicago, to Madison, Wisconsin, to Iowa City, to Nacogdoches.

SFA was attractive to Szafran "because it blends teaching and research very nicely. The top priority is teaching, although there is ample room for research. Too many other universities place their primary emphasis on research."

Szafran met and married his wife, Shirley, in 1971 while he was beginning his graduate studies at Wisconsin. She is now a computer science major at SFA and they have three sons, Cory, a 17-year-old high school junior; Todd, a 14-year-old high school freshman, and Adam, an 11-year-old sixth-grader.

Szafran has also found time to serve as a consultant for the City of Nacogdoches Comprehensive Master Plan, was vice-president of the SFA chapter of the Texas Association of College Teachers in 1986-88 and has been an active program participant with the East Texas Conference for Sociology Teachers.

Web Masters' note: This article appeared seven years ago in the Faculty Focus section of the SFASU Football program. Son Adam mentioned above recently graduated from Nacogdoches High School and wife, Shirley, is now the computer systems' person at the SFA LINC.