Williams Piper Award 2013

Texas A&M-Kingsville professor wins prestigious Piper Award

KINGSVILLE - May 03, 2013

Contact: Julie Navejar
julie.navejar@tamuk.edu or 361-593-2590

Dr. Randall H. Williams, professor of agriculture science at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, has received the prestigious Piper Professor Award from the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation. Williams has been teaching in the Dick and Mary Lewis Kleberg College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences in Kingsville since 1990.

“Just to be nominated and have the opportunity to apply for the Piper Professor Award is an honor itself, but to actually have been selected to be one of the 10 state-wide recipients of the Minnie Stevens Piper Award is humbling,” Williams said. “Truthfully, it hasn’t fully soaked in yet that I really won the award.

“Right now, it means pride in being able to assimilate the fact that I’ve been recognized for the services provided to this state, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, my discipline and more importantly, my students-past, present and future. They are the reason that we do what we do and they remain our greatest asset.” 

“The Piper Professor Award represents the top professors in the state who have made an impact on their students,” said Dr. Allen Rasmussen, dean of the Kleberg College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences. “This shows the dedication our faculty has to make sure our students are successful. Dr. Williams is a great selection because of his devotion to the students in our college.”

When asked to elaborate on the honor, Williams said, “Winning this award is a validation of the work and efforts put forth in the career path and vocation that a college professor has chosen. It is a testament to the thousands of students that have passed through our classrooms and laboratories that our toils have not been in vain. It relies upon the faith that perhaps whatever small amount of wisdom, growth and knowledge imparted to them from our efforts will continue to benefit them as they go forward in their bright futures to provide service and assistance to the next generation of mankind.

“I believe Texas A&M-Kingsville is awash with potential Piper Award winners across the entire campus. Specifically, within the Kleberg College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences, there are several candidates that come to mind -- many more qualified than me,” Williams added. “I hope that having won this award will bring recognition to our university that we too make a difference in many high quality students’ lives and that it will persuade more of our outstanding faculty to apply for these types of awards, which will bring additional recognition to what we are accomplishing in our university community.”

“I know that I am not one of the 10 best professors in the state of Texas this year or any other year. I probably am not even in the top 10 percent of the professors at Texas A&M-Kingsville today,” Williams said. “But I hope that I am the best professor that enters my classroom during my class periods.”

During the history of the Piper Professor Awards dating back to 1958, Texas A&M-Kingsville—formerly named Texas A&I University—has had four other recipients of the award. They include Dr. Josiah C. Russell, history, 1971; Dr. Fred McKee Garland, chemistry, 1977; Dr. David D. Neher, professor and interim dean of agriculture and home economics, 1985; and Dr. Leslie Gene Hunter, history, 1997. 

About Dr. Randall H. Williams

Williams joined the university faculty in 1990 as an associate professor. He was promoted to professor in 1998 and served as interim chair of the agronomy and resource sciences department in 2005.

Prior to his time at Texas A&M-Kingsville, Williams was at Vernon Regional Junior College and Oklahoma State University. He also was a vocational agriculture instructor at Caprock High School in Amarillo and Pampa High School in Pampa.

He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agriculture education from Texas Tech University. He received his doctorate from Oklahoma State University.

Williams has served on numerous committees during his tenure at Texas A&M-Kingsville but currently serves as the liaison for athletics on the President’s Leadership Council; as board member and advisory council member for Agricultural Workers Mutual Insurance; as a member of the Board of Directors for the Texas FFA Association; representative and former chair of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee; and faculty athletic representative for the university to the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

He also assists young farmers and ranchers as assistant superintendent of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo junior breeding beef heifer show; assistant superintendent of the National FFA Organization’s Career Development Event, Agriculture Issues Forum; and is assistant superintendent of the State Fair of Texas junior breeding beef heifer show.

Williams was named Man of the Year in Texas Agriculture by the Texas County Agriculture Agents Association in 2007; was the Javelina Alumni Association’s Distinguished Teacher in 2007; received the Distinguished Service Award from the Texas FFA Association in 1993, 2000, 2007 and 2010; and received the University Distinguished Service Award as Outstanding Faculty Senator of the Year in 1997. 

About the Piper Professor Award

Nominations for the award are requested annually from all accredited institutions of higher learning in the state. An impartial selection committee from the academic community carefully reviews the nominees.

The committee seeks to honor professors who are well-rounded, outgoing, devoted to the profession and who have made a special impact on his/her students and the community.

The award was established to bring recognition for outstanding achievement in the teaching profession in colleges and universities in the state.

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