Every year, the university selects three faculty members to herald for their hard work in improving SHSU. This year’s Faculty Excellence Awards went to Debra Price, associate professor of language, literacy, and special populations for excellence in teaching; David Marcus, professor of psychology for excellence in research; and James S. Olson, distinguished professor of history for excellence in service. Olson is the first SHSU faculty member to have received all three awards.
“I’m honored by [receiving this award], I’ve been here 33 years now at SHSU,” said Olson. “I guess I’ve had a lot of energy over the years. The campus is loaded with great hardworking faculty members and I’m humbled by it. It took 30 years to get those three awards. I mean I’ve been working here since I was 25.”
Marcus received his award for his work in Taxometrics, the method for learning if a diagnosis exists on a continuum or if it’s a unique category. His research focused on Taxometrics and Psychopathy.
“I was able to do master research and work mostly with graduate students,” said Marcus. “Obviously the key is to be an active researcher, not just to collect information but to try and publish it in a few high quality peer review journals.”
The award for excellence in teaching was awarded to Price for her work in the Teacher Education Center.
“People think being a teacher is easy,” said Price. “You just follow the syllabus, but that’s wrong. Just because you have the best plan, the best syllabus, and the best calendar doesn’t mean you’re able to meet with the reality of the class. When that class starts, you have to be willing to flex with what the students need. Here we have students about to become teachers and it’s important that they see me working at being a good teacher as hard as they are working at becoming one.”
Regardless of how hard the faculty strives to attain excellence, many attribute their success to the help of fellow faculty members and students.
“I think we all need to just strive to work to the fullest of our capabilities,” said Olson. “Collaborative efforts allow us to strengthen our weaknesses. I would have never got into the gate if it weren’t for some senior faculty members that showed me the way. It’s mentoring that strengthens us.”