Two Texas A&M Faculty Honored With UPUTE Professorships

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By Nancy Sawtelle, Texas A&M University Office of the Provost

Two members of the Texas A&M faculty have been honored with University Professorships for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence (UPUTE) and were recognized as part of the Transformational Teaching and Learning Conference on April 18. The award is conferred only upon the university’s most distinguished teachers of undergraduates — faculty who have exhibited uncommon excellence and devotion to the education of undergraduate students.

The 2018 recipients are: Janet T. Parish, clinical professor, Department of Marketing, Mays Business School — Eppright Professorship; and Vickie M. Williamson, instructional professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Science —Thaman Professorship.

“Texas A&M University strives to meet our unique mission for Texas by supporting and recognizing our faculty’s outstanding efforts in teaching, research and service” offered Carol A. Fierke, provost and executive vice president. “These University Professorships acknowledge the particular expertise these faculty hold in working with our undergraduate students, as they become the future productive citizens of Texas and beyond.”

The professorships are made possible through generous endowments by George and Irma Eppright, and Arthur J. and Wilhelmina Doré Thaman.

Janet T. Parish

Janet Parish is clinical professor and associate department head in the Department of Marketing in Mays Business School. She is also the founding director of the department’s Professional Selling Initiative which is aimed at creating new opportunities for students in sales-related careers. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from The University of Southern Mississippi and her doctorate from the University of Alabama. She joined the Texas A&M University faculty in 2002. Parish is a Mays Teaching Fellow and a recipient of The Association of Former Students College-Level Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching and the Mays Business School Faculty Service Excellence Award.

Parish has taught a variety of marketing courses including principles of marketing, marketing research, and services marketing. She currently teaches a core course in the Mays undergraduate program. In addition, she teaches in the Professional MBA program and several executive education programs. Her passion for service work falls in two key areas: curriculum development and community outreach.  As such, Parish is a long-term member of the college-level Curriculum and Assessment Committee and frequently serves on curriculum task forces, such as the Excel Workgroup and the Core Business Knowledge Faculty Task Force. Her research interests include relationship marketing, services marketing, service innovation, customer service and satisfaction, and the role of frontline employees in service encounters.

Vickie M. Williamson

Vickie Williamson is an instructional professor in the Department of Chemistry.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in natural science with a chemistry emphasis from the University of Central Oklahoma, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in chemical education from the University of Oklahoma. She has been a member of the Texas A&M faculty for more than 20 years. In her classes, she uses multiple presentation modes, representing chemical phenomena in terms of their laboratory or concrete characteristics, particulate behaviors, symbolic representations, and mathematical relationships. Her demonstrations help bring chemistry concepts to life. Williamson’s curriculum development work includes authoring a general chemistry, inquiry-based laboratory manual, a similar laboratory manual for liberal arts chemistry, interactive CDs for high-school chemistry, and textbooks and supplements for middle-school to college-level chemistry.

She was awarded the 2017 Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher Award and was the recipient of the 2015 American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for Achievement in Research for the Teaching and Learning of Chemistry, which recognized her body of research on the visualization of the particulate nature of matter and strategies to improve students’ mental models of particle behavior. She is an ACS Fellow and the recipient of The Association of Former Students University-Level Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching.  In addition, Williamson was selected as a Fish Camp namesake.  She has mentored 41 graduate and 30 undergraduates in chemical education research.

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Media contact: Nancy Sawtelle, 979-845-4016, n-sawtelle@tamu.edu.


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