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Texas A&M-Kingsville honors four professors emeriti

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KINGSVILLE (January 11, 2021) —Four retired faculty members are being honored as Professor Emeritus—a designation that recognizes their on-going commitment to scholarship.


The 2020 Professors Emeriti are:

  • Fred Bryant, professor and Leroy G. Denman Jr. Endowed Director of Wildlife Research of the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute (CKWRI);
  • Tim Fulbright, Regents Professor in the department of rangeland and wildlife sciences and Meadows Professor for Arid Land Ecology for the CKWRI;
  • Thomas McGehee, professor of geology in the physics and geosciences department; and
  • Chuck Wissinger, professor of art in the art, communications and theatre department, awarded posthumously.


Dr. Fred Bryant

Dr. Fred Bryant was professor and Leroy G. Denman Jr. Endowed Director of Wildlife Research of the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute (CKWRI) from 1996 until his retirement in 2016. He still works part-time as Director of Development for the CKWRI. 


During his career, Bryant wrote three books, eight book chapters, two monographs, 34 peer-reviewed papers, 20 articles in lay magazines, and over 60 abstracts at professional meetings. He also oversaw over 20 graduate students including one, Dr. Scott Henke, who is currently chair of the Department of Rangeland and Wildlife Sciences at Texas A&M-Kingsville.


While in the director’s chair, Bryant grew the CKWRI endowment from $3 million to more than $40 million. Grant funds increased from $500,000 to $3.1 million annually.


Under his leadership, the Tio and Janell Kleberg Wildlife Research Park was built. The park includes the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Center, the Albert and Margaret Alkek Ungulate Research Facility, the Buddy Temple Wildlife Pathology and Diagnostic Laboratory and the Duane Leach Research Aviary.


Bryant created the stand-alone doctoral program in wildlife sciences, making it the first doctoral degree program in the sciences at Texas A&M-Kingsville.


Prior coming to Texas A&M-Kingsville, Bryant was at Texas Tech University from 1977 to 1996. While there, he was named Teacher of the Semester, Outstanding Researcher of the Year, Outstanding Alumnus for the Department of Range, Wildlife and Fisheries Management; Distinguished Alumnus for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and received the President’s Academic Achievement Award.


While at Texas A&M-Kingsville, Bryant received the Dean’s Excellence Award from the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences in 2003.


He has been president of Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society, both the Texas Section and International Society for Range Management and a board member of the International Arid Lands Consortium.


Bryant received the Professional Achievement Award from the College of Natural Resources from Utah State University, the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Corpus Christi; the Outstanding Contribution to Range Management Award from the Texas Section of the Society for Range Management; the Fellow Award from both the Texas Section, Society for Range Management and the International Society for Range Management; the Honorary Member Award from The Wildlife Society and the Sam Beasom Conservation Leader Award from the Texas Wildlife Association.


Bryant earned his bachelor’s degree in wildlife management from Texas Tech, his master’s wildlife biology from Utah State University and his doctorate in range science from Texas &M University.


Dr. Tim Fulbright

Dr. Tim Fulbright was a faculty member at Texas A&M University-Kingsville for 39 years and retired as a Regents Professor in the department of rangeland and wildlife sciences and as the Meadows Professor for Arid Land Ecology for the CKWRI.


He began his career at Texas A&I University as assistant professor of range management. While in the Dick and Mary Lewis Kleberg College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, he served as chair of the Department of Agronomy and Resources Science and the Department of Animal and Wildlife Sciences. 


Fulbright received the Vice Chancellor's Award in Excellence in Support of System Academic Partnership Efforts from The Agriculture Program of The Texas A&M University System. He also was named Distinguished Researcher by the Javelina Alumni Association and the Senior Research Award from the College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences.


Most recently, he received the Sustained Lifetime Member Award from the Society of Range Management and the Charles Weddle Award for lifetime achievement in the field of Texas native plants by the Native Plant Society of Texas.


While at the university, Fulbright developed and taught more than 20 different courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level. He gave more than 450 presentations at scientific conferences and published 95 peer-reviewed journal articles, 22 symposia proceedings, 13 book chapters and three books.


Fulbright served on the Board of the International Arid Lands Consortium which took him abroad to places like Israel and Jordan to review research projects sponsored by the consortium. He also spent time studying black bears in Coahuila, Mexico.


He has been associate editor for the Journal of Range Management, the Wildlife Society Bulletin and the Journal of Wildlife Management and on the editorial board of the Texas Journal of Agriculture and Natural Resources.


Fulbright has served in leadership roles in the Range Science Education Council, the Society for Range Management, the Texas Section, Society for Range Management, The Wildlife Society and the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society.


Fulbright earned his bachelor’s in biology and his master’s in wildlife biology from Abilene Christian University and his doctorate in range science from Colorado State University.


Dr. Thomas McGehee

Dr. Thomas McGehee was a member of the College of Arts and Sciences faculty for 31 years, including one year as chair of the chemistry department and 12 years as coordinator of the geosciences department. He joined the University as an assistant professor of geology in 1988. He was promoted to associate professor in 1994 and became a full professor in 2002.


He received the Science Faculty Award from Lockheed Martin Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1993, the Olan Kruse Science Faculty Award in 2004 and the Outstanding Educator Award from the Gulf Coast Geological Society in 2016.


McGehee created the Junior Rock Hound Program for K-5 through the Earth Science Initiative of the Gulf Coast Geological Society. This program was later expanded to K-12. He also worked with earth science teachers at Texas community colleges to initiate the development of a geology course for high schools that was presented to the Texas K-12 Education Coordinating Board. 


The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers funded a two-year sabbatical for McGehee to train in state-of-the-art groundwater contamination modeling with professionals at the Groundwater Modeling Center, Waterways Experiment Station in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He was a contractor with the Groundwater Modeling Center for 12 years and used their funded projects to help rebuild the university’s undergraduate program through undergraduate research projects.


His major challenge required the evolution of the program to a field-based program that filled a niche in industry and was attractive to potential undergraduate majors. Under his direction, the number of students in the program more than quadrupled in less than 10 years.


More recently, McGehee helped develop a program in petrophysics to supply professionals to their industry.


In 2012, McGehee had an article chosen as one of the best in the nation by the National Council for Geographic Education’s Journal of Geography.


McGehee earned his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in geology from the University of Texas at Dallas. He is a licensed geologist in the State of Texas.


Dr. Chuck Wissinger

Dr. Chuck Wissinger served in the College of Arts and Sciences for 16 years, beginning in 2003. He was chair of the art department in 2011, co-chair from 2005 to 2007 and director from 2012 to 2019. He passed away in 2020.


He also was Graduate Program Coordinator for the master’s degree in art from 2004 to 2006. He taught 3D design and basic, advanced and graduate courses in sculpture and ceramics. 


Wissinger also taught at University of Texas-Pan American, Red Deer College in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada and Elmira College in Elmira, New York.


He is responsible for the design and construction of the High Fire Kiln Building in 2017 and 2018. Wissinger published four books in 2004 and 2005.


His artwork has received international acclaim with showcases in Mexico, Spain, Canada, China, Turkey, Pakistan, Denmark, Australia and Norway. Wissinger conducted workshops and symposiums in Australia, Finland, Turkey, Denmark, Italy and the United States.


Wissinger lectured at Marmara University and Dokuz Eylul University, both in Turkey and one of his ceramic pieces is in the permanent collection at Dokuz Eylul University.


He has received awards for his work from exhibitions from Corpus Christi to Banff Center for the Arts in Alberta, Canada. Wissinger was a nominee for both the William J. Hall Faculty Award and the President’s Award for Excellence while at Texas A&M-Kingsville.


His art can be found in the collections at the Art Center of Corpus Christi; the Texas Kalebodur Group in Canakkle, Turkey; the Karacasu Foundation in Izmir, Turkey; the Jingdezhen Experimental Factory in Jingdezhen, China, the Kirk Clark Collection in McAllen and many more.


Wissinger received his bachelor’s degree in art education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his master’s degree in fine arts with a major in ceramics and minors in sculpture and photography/cinematography from Ohio State University.



Category: General Univ , Ag/Env & Wildlife Sci , Arts/Sciences

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