TEACHING EXCELLENCE

at

STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY


This year's nominees were:

Name

College

Department

Sherry L. Williford

Applied Arts and Sciences

Communications

James E. Howard

Business

Economics & Finance

Leah S. Smith

Education

Elementary Education

Piero Fenci

Fine Arts

Art

Hans Michael Williams

Forestry

Forestry

Lauren C. Scharff

Liberal Arts

Psychology

Thomas O. Callaway

Sciences & Mathematics

Physics & Astronomy

 

This year's winner is Dr. Thomas O. Callaway

General Statement, Eligibility, and Criteria

Convocation Speaker: Dr. Jim DiNucci, Ph.D.

 

The convocation speaker and 1994 winner of the University Teaching Excellence Award is Dr. Jim DiNucci. Dr. DiNucci is Regents Professor of Kinesiology and Health Science and serves as Coordinator of Undergraduate Professional Kinesiology. A native of Portland, Oregon, DiNucci holds a Ph.D. in Physical Education from the University of Oregon with an emphasis in the scientific foundations for physical education. His Master of Science Degree was obtained at the University of Illinois and B.S. Degree from Lewis and Clark College. He has taught public school in Oregon and California and spent five years at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana prior to coming to SFA in 1973.

Dr. DiiNucci has been active in professional and community service and received the Honor Award and Scholar Award from the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. He served 12 years as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Nacogdoches Independent School District and was the founder of the Boys and Girls Club of Nacogdoches, Texas. He was honored to receiving the Man and Youth Award from the Boys and Girls Club. Actively involved in research, he has authored or co-authored five books and research publications and many major research presentations.

 

The 1997 Convocation

The 1996 Convocation

The 1995 Convocation

The 1994 Convocation

Sherry L. Williford

Position:

Instructor of Communications. Has taught at SFA since 1992 (6 years).

Degree:

M.S. in Mass Communications, emphasis Radio/TV, Arkansas State University, December, 1990.

Accomplishments:

  • Teaches Introduction to Radio/TV (History Development of Broadcasting), Audio Production Techniques (practical training in radio production), Radio/TV Announcing (studies and practical experiences in broadcast announcing), Radio Practicum (actual radio experience from working at KSAU), Television Production (practical training in television production).
  • KSAU Director and Faculty Advisor, 1992 to present SFA's student run campus radio station. Works one-on-one with students in preparation for careers in broadcast communication. Executive producer for live lumberjack baseball and softball home games and for football and basketball games. Executive producer of radio coverage for many SFA campus activities such as homecoming, etc. Many of her students have successful careers in broadcast communication and have won awards while at SFA.
  • Student Awards. From 1993 to 1997 her students have won at least one or two first place awards at the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association Awards (Radio Division).
  • Faculty Advisor Student Chapter of the National Broadcasting Society at SFA, 1992-present.
  • Elected to Faculty Senate 1996, elected Secretary of Faculty Senate 1997.
  • Supervised Live Remotes of Empty Stocking Fund broadcasts at Wal-Mart parking lot in 1997. KSAU helped sponsor the fundraiser manning the tent 24 hours a day for three days. Helped raise $30,000 for Empty Stocking Fund.
  • Presented radio resume workshop for radio/TV students 1994.
  • Worked with many SFA students on Internships in Broadcast Communication.

Quote from Student:

"Thank you for your help and support. I look forward to living up to the confidence you have showed in me." (by Stacey Taylor, former SFA student 1997)


James E. Howard

Position:

Associate Professor of Economics and Finance at SFA. Has taught at SFA since 1976 (22 years). Taught from 1976-1984 in Forestry (8 years) and taught from 1984 to present in Economics and Finance (14 years).

Degree:

Ph.D in Forest Resources, from University of Georgia, 1977.

Accomplishments:

  • Currently teaches: Business Statistics (Graduate and Undergraduate) Environmental Economics, Principles of Economics.
  • MBA Student Association Outstanding Professor, 1988.
  • Student Government Association, Outstanding Forestry Faculty Member, 1980-81.
  • Economics and Finance Department Teaching Excellence Award Nominee 1996,1997, 1998.
  • Participant, Master Teacher Program, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA., June 1992.
  • Presenter for each Department in College of Business, on teaching concepts (from Master Teacher Program) 1992.
  • Presented Teaching Seminar, College of Business, January 1994.
  • Attended Critical Thinking/Teaching Strategy Workshops 1995 and 1996.
  • Faculty Sponsor SYLVANS (Forestry Student Association) 1977-84.
  • Freshmen Summer Orientation Speaker 1979 and 1984 - present.
  • SACS Committee on Student Development and Intercollegiate Athletics, 1997 – present.
  • SFA Faculty Senate - 12 years, has served four three-year terms. Was Chair of the SFA Faculty Senate 1987 - 1988.
  • Creative Activities - 2 Journal Articles, 7 proceedings, 6 Technical reports and 12 other publications.

Quote from Student:

"I truly feel I would not have been able to graduate had you not been willing to work with me. For this I can not say thank you enough". (Former student: Susan Reeder, 1990)

Quote from Student:

"Dr. Howard is a wonderful teacher who understands how to teach a confusing topic, so we as students grasp the concept." (Student evaluation of teaching, written evaluations, 1997).


Leah S. Smith

Position:

Associate Professor of Elementary Education. Has taught at SFA since 1989 (9 years).

Degree:

Doctor of Education, with a major in Reading/Educational Psychology/Testing, from the University of Houston (1988).

Accomplishments:

  • Currently teaches Reading 415 (Corrective Reading Practicum) and Reading 512 (Advanced Diagnosis).
  • Recipient of Department of Elementary education Award for Teaching Excellence in 1995.
  • Director of Learning Center at SFA since 1992. Dr. Smith has created reading tutorial programs conducted by SFA Elementary Education majors which provides individual tutoring for at risk and bilingual grade school students from four local school districts, during and after the school day. Conducted Learning Center site visits by: Governor George Bush in 1996, Jean Osbom, Consultant for Governor Bush's business Alliance for Reading in 1997, and two visits by SFA Regents in 1997. Collected and analyzed data to evaluate tutorial progress toward student achievement. Results indicate a significant gain in reading achievement over a two-year period.
  • Co-chair of Evaluation Committee for the Center for Professional Development and Technology (CPDT) 1993 -present. Designed and revised evaluation documents for the CPDT.
  • Creative Activities: Awarded 16 grants funded by outside sources since 1995 totaling $75,000. Assisted in writing a grant for the center for Professional Development and technology (CPDT), totaling over $2 million. Made 8 presentations at various Education Conferences in U.S.A. since 1994.

Quote from Student:

"Dr. Leah Smith has instilled her values in me and taught me the skills necessary for me to enter my first year of teaching with confidence." (Former Student, Rachel Colley)


Piero Fenci

Position:

Professor of Art at SFA. Has taught at SFA since 1975 (23 years).

Degree:

Master of Fine Arts (Terminal degree in his field-Ceramic Art) from New York State College of Ceramics (Alfred University) (I 975).

Accomplishments:

  • Currently teaches: Art 130 (3-D Design), Art 350 (Ceramics 1), Art 450 (Ceramics II), and Art 575 (Advanced Ceramics).
  • Five Ceramic Art Exhibitions in 1998 include the Dallas Museum of Art. One to six ceramic art exhibitions virtually every year since 1980. 3. His art is pictured in The Best of Pottery J. Fairbanks and A. Fina, Rockport Publishers (1996). It is 250 images of the world’s best potters. His art pictured in 26 publications since 1980.
  • He has presented 18 teaching workshops in ceramic art since 1980, including at such Universities as University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University.
  • He has arranged for many ceramic artists from all over the world to conduct teaching workshops at SFA virtually every year since 1975. 6. He originated the idea within the Art Department that all senior art majors should have a formal showing of their work. Now the Art Department requires this of all their senior majors.
  • His teaching is done in a studio class from that has potentially hazardous materials. A National Association of Schools of Art Design consultant has inspected the efficiency and safety of his studio classroom and singled out his classroom as one of the best in the country.

Quote from Student:

"I can think of no one who is more deserving of recognition for a lifetime excellent teaching performance than Piero Fenci." by Gregory Elliott former student and Area Head, Art Department, Louisiana State University.

Quote by student:

"Studying with Piero Fenci comes with the understanding that learning does not fit into a neat little package. He helps us learn by opening his life and work to his students." by Jennie Couch, former student and Assistant Professor of Art, Morehead College.


Hans M. Williams

Position:

Assistant Professor of Forestry at SFA. Has taught at SFA since 1993 (5 years).

Degree:

Ph.D. in Forestry from Auburn University (I 989). Major field of study: Forest Ecophysiology.

Accomplishments:

  • Has taught FOR 209 (Forest Ecology), FOR 404 (Urban Forestry), FOR 515 (Tree Physiology), FOR 523 (Plant Water Relations), and ENV 415 (Environmental Planning). Developed 2 new courses at SFA: ENV 415 and FOR 523.
  • In 1996-97 school year served on the committees of 15 Masters and Doctoral students.
  • 1996 Finalist, SFA Foundation Achievement Award (for teaching excellence).
  • Faculty Advisor, Student Chapter, Society of American Foresters, 1995-present.
  • Texas Forestry Association-Board of Directors- Texas Society for American Foresters-Executive Committee for Student Affairs; Texas Department of Transportation-Technical Advisory Panel for Environmental Research.
  • Helped create a program in Urban Forestry at SFA. Serves as Academic Advisor for this major.
  • Nacogdoches Proud-Member of taskforce that designed a brochure for this organization. Also assisted in a major tree-planting project in Nacogdoches in 1997. Head of Urban Forestry Committee with Nacogdoches Proud.
  • Creative Activities: Awarded 6 Outside Grants the past 4 years exceeding $250,000. 13 published articles and technical reports. 9 proceedings publications. 25 presentations at conferences. All in last 5 years.

Quote from Student:

"Dr. Williams is an excellent example of what all college professors should strive to be. He is a great teacher and mentor." (Former student, Judy Haney)


Lauren V. Scharff

Position:

Assistant Professor of Psychology at SFA. Has taught at SFA since 1993 (5 years).

Degree:

Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin (I 992). Major in Human Experimental Psychology, Minor in Math.

Accomplishments:

  • Has taught SFA 101 (Introduction to College for new freshmen), PSY 133 (Introductory Psychology), PSY 230 (Research Methods), PSY 350 (Physiological Psychology), PSY 440 (Perception with lab), PSY 506 (Graduate Perception), and PSY 525 (Graduate Teaching Seminar).
  • Serves as an administrator and a facilitator for the SFA teaching circles program.
  • Served on SFA's ACE Committee: American Council on Education, a University level committee that reports to VPAA Janelle Ashley regarding improving teaching effectiveness at SFA.
  • Assisted in improving the New Faculty Orientation program at SFA.
  • Developed Psychology Department Computer Lab and a Vision Lab in the Psychology Department.
  • Sponsor and Co-Sponsor of the Psychology Club at SFA.
  • Currently serving in SFA Faculty Senate.
  • Active participant in Fabulous Friday Events at SFA.
  • Has assisted several undergraduate students in publishing articles.
  • Uses writing as an active learning technique in all her classes: requires evidence of reflective thought and/or critical thinking from her students.
  • Creative Activities, 3 Journal Articles, 8 Presentations/Abstracts, 2 student research papers.

Quote from Student:

"You are so full of energy and so animated when you explain things in class. It shows you have a passion for teaching." (Former Student, Michelle Lewins)

Quote from Student:

"Dr. Scharff is the best teacher I have ever had and I am certain she is one of the best teachers SFA has ever had." (Former Student, Alyson Hill)

Quote from Student:

"Dr. Scharff has a personality that she brings to the classroom that inspires students to learn. Her energy is a catalyst for me." (Former student, Jorie Keller)


Thomas O. Callaway

Position:

Professor of Physics at SFA. Has taught at SFA since 1975 (23 vears).

Degree:

Ph.D. in Physics, University of Arkansas (1975).

Accomplishments:

  • Over the past 23 years has taught all the Physics courses in his department.
  • 1996 Teaching Excellence Award Recipient for the College of Sciences and Mathematics.
  • Personally created Physics 108, which uses cooperative learning techniques in an introductory Physics course for Physics and Engineering majors. Also created Physics 41 0 which trains elementary education majors to teach physics in grade schools.
  • For the past 4 years has used sophisticated multi-media presentations in his Physics 101 courses (Physics for non-science majors).
  • In the last few years has taught three classes using distance learning technology, including two-way interactive video technology.
  • Now uses Internet technology: students can observe some of his lectures and demonstrations via the internet.
  • Scholarly Activity: 16 journal articles published, 20 papers presented at conferences, 17 grants funded by outside sources, 8 grants funded by SFA. Has over $370,000 in grants awarded in last 7 years, much of it used to improve teaching for elementary school teachers who teach physics.
  • Service: Past Chair of Physics and Astronomy Department (19791988). Past President Texas Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (1988-1989). Past Chairman, Physics Section, Texas Academy of Science (1 990-1991).

Quote from Student:

"To many Dr. Callaway, is known as a 'teacher's teacher'. He not only prepares students for graduate study but also trains students who are preparing to teach at the pre-college level." by Dan Burton, former student and Assistant Professor at SFASU.

Quote from Student:

"Dr. Callaway's dedication for sharing his knowledge has inspired me to become the best teacher possible." by Megan Bishop, former student.