Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Javelina Alumni Honor Distinguished Teachers, Researcher

KINGSVILLE - January 18, 2007

Contact: Jill Scoggins

L-R: Rumaldo Juarez, Randall Williams and Manny Saenz

The Javelina Alumni Association presented its Distinguished Teacher and Researcher Awards at the General Faculty Meeting, held Jan. 9 in the auditorium of the Biology and Earth Sciences Building.

These awards honor deserving faculty members who show outstanding service to the Javelina community through education and student activities. Each award carries with it a $1,000 stipend, funded by the Javelina Alumni Association.

The awards were presented by association board member Manny Saenz, B.F.A. ’93 and M.S. ’94, of Edinburg and President Rumaldo Z. Juárez.

This year, two winners for one of the awards were honored. The 2006 Distinguished Teacher Award was presented jointly to Dr. Daniel Suson and Dr. Randall Williams.

L-R: Rumaldo Juarez, Daniel Suson and Manny Saenz

Suson is professor of physics and chair of the physics/geosciences department. His nominators described him as a “pedagogical true-believer – committed to and driven by student success.” In 2006, Suson’s innovative College Physics I and II courses won national acclaim from the College Board. However, as Saenz noted, perhaps the best endorsement for this award came from one of his students, who said she was “clueless on the concept of physics” when she entered his class … but because he takes time to help, she learned the material and was anticipating a high grade by the end of the semester.

The second 2006 Distinguished Teacher Award was presented to Dr. Randall H. Williams, professor of agronomy and resource sciences. He is noted for providing leadership guidance to both undergraduates and graduate students. His dedication to students also goes beyond their commencement, Saenz said. Williams mentors his students after they leave A&M-Kingsville, continuing to monitor their progress and providing valuable advice to them as they pursue their careers.

L-R: Rumaldo Juarez, Susan Roberson and Manny

The Distinguished Researcher Award was presented to Dr. Susan Roberson, chair and assistant professor of language and literature. As one of the nominators phrased it, the work of a humanities faculty member is “quiet and individualistic, not public,” and therefore, more difficult to reward with honors such as this. Roberson’s work, however, made her selection as award winner obvious, Saenz noted.

She studies the role that location plays in literature, particularly women’s literature, looking at the location of literary characters and settings for their meaning and significance. Roberson has demonstrated success at winning research funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and her research road is one not widely traveled, making her work all the more important for its unique contribution to the body of knowledge.

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