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Points of Pride

Texas State’s Points of Pride


World-Class Research

  • In January 2012, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board reclassified Texas State as an Emerging Research University, allowing it to join seven other state universities eligible to tap into special state funds designed to bolster higher education research.
  • In May 2012, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Texas State University $3.1 million for research and education in materials science and to form a partnership with the prestigious Research Triangle institutions in North Carolina.
  • As the site of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and Edwards Aquifer Research & Data Center, our campus is one of the best places in the world to study aquatic ecosystems and species.
  • Walt Trybula, director of the Nanomaterials Application Center at Texas State, was named one of just 56 Fellows of the International Society for Optical Engineering for driving the industry effort behind the rapid implementation of immersion lithography, a process used in semiconductor manufacturing.
  • Kim Rossmo, a research professor in the School of Criminal Justice and the university’s endowed chair in criminology, developed a methodology that has been used by the FBI, ATF and Scotland Yard to help solve thousands of crimes. At Texas State, he applies his methodology to research projects on a range of topics, from counterterrorism to disease control.
  • Professors in the Department of Psychology are conducting tests to determine how addictions begin and to devise new methods to treat them. By studying stress, cultural identity, risk-taking behavior and other factors, they approach addiction as a preventable disease.
  • With a goal of attracting high-paying tech jobs to the San Marcos area, in August 2012 the Texas State Science, Technology and Research (STAR) Park opened a facility that will serve as a technology accelerator for startup and early stage businesses, especially in the green and biotechnology sectors.
  • Texas State researchers are continuing to unravel the puzzle of the Gault Site in Central Texas, the world’s largest Clovis culture excavation. At one time, Clovis technology was believed to represent the Americas’ earliest human inhabitants, but new research indicates the possibility that a culture existed in the Americas at least 500 to 1,000 years before the Clovis.

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National Recognition

  • Texas State is the only university in Texas to have graduated a U.S. president: Lyndon B. Johnson, class of 1930.
  • Sixteen professors in the Texas State Department of Geography have earned the Higher Education Distinguished Teaching Award from the National Conference on Geography Education. The department has the largest undergraduate enrollment and one of the largest graduate enrollments in the nation for geography.
  • The American Mathematical Society Epsilon Fund has honored Texas State’s Mathworks and its Honors Summer Math Camps nine times as one of the nation’s top programs.
  • Frederick Hanselmann, chief underwater archaeologist at Texas State, was part of an international team that recovered cannons from the site where infamous privateer Captain Henry Morgan’s ships wrecked in 1671 at the mouth of the Chagres River in Panama.
  • The National Communication Association Basic Course Division named Texas State University’s basic communication course, COMM 1310: Fundamentals of Human Communication, a Program of Excellence for 2011.
  • The Center for the Study of the Southwest engages faculty and students in the richness and diversity of Texas, the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico and examines the region’s people, institutions, history, art and physical and cultural ecology.
  • Texas State awards more bachelor's degrees to Hispanic students than 99 percent of colleges and universities in the U.S.
  • Because of its diversity, the Air Force ROTC program at Texas State was featured in an Air Force marketing campaign.
  • Texas State University was honored as a Tree Campus USA by the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation, which recognizes the best practices in campus forestry throughout the United States.
  • Graphic Design USA magazine recognized our communication design program among the 29 “Select Top U.S. Graphic Design Schools.” We were the only Texas school on the list and one of only a few public universities. Others honored were renowned private art and design schools, including Parsons, the Ringling College of Art and Design, and the Rhode Island School of Design.
  • An August 2010, article in The New York Times cited Texas State as having one of the nation’s top undergraduate programs in musical theatre and acting.

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Academic Rigor

  • Texas State has the fifth-highest retention and graduation rate of public universities in the state.
  • Students in our Department of Biology are working with five Texas universities and two Texas zoos to protect wildlife throughout the state.
  • A total of 141 student-athletes were named to the Southland Conference (SLC) academic honor roll in 2011, including SLC volleyball player of the year Amber Calhoun and Academic All-American infielder and Texas State scholar-athlete of the year Tyler Sibley.
  • Our Honors College offers small, stimulating classes taught by master teacher-scholars who employ innovative teaching methods. Students pursue independent projects or cutting edge research working closely with faculty and produce an honors thesis on a subject of their choosing.  
  • Texas State faculty members are engaged in 531 independent funded research projects totaling more than $35 million in expenditures.
  • The annual Undergraduate Research Conference provides an opportunity for undergraduate students from different colleges and disciplines to share their research with the academic community.
  • The International Research Conference is an opportunity for graduate students from various fields to present their original research and receive feedback from experienced faculty members. It is open to graduate students from Texas State, other universities within the country and abroad.
  • Texas State’s College of Health Professions is one of only a few in the United States that has achieved national accreditation for all degree programs, ranging from undergraduate to doctoral.

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New and Innovative Programs

  • Our Department of Anthropology operates the largest outdoor forensic laboratory in the world, the Forensic Anthropology Research Facility at Freeman Ranch.
  • Our athletic training program was the first one in Texas certified by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Educators.
  • Texas State is the lead institution in PURE-HIT, a consortium designed to boost healthcare information technology education in Texas.
  • Our School of Music’s sound recording technology program, housed in the historic Fire Station Studios, is the only degree program of its kind in the Southwestern United States.
  • Texas State’s Center for Texas Public History is the first of its kind and breadth in the state, offering expertise and training in the fields of museum work, oral history and cultural resource management to historical organizations, museums and government agencies.
  • The university retrofitted 30 elliptical machines in the student recreation center to convert human exercise into electricity. Texas State is the first university in Texas to utilize this technology that converts human energy into electricity that is connected to the university power grid.
  • The William P. Hobby Center for Public Service trains public and nonprofit managers in the ethical values and technical competencies associated with outstanding public service.
  • Texas State University received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families to implement the Strengthening Relationships/Strengthening Families program, a relationship education program for pregnant and parenting adolescents.
  • Texas State’s Sleep Center is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
  • The Texas Justice Court Training Center develops and administers in-service training and related technical assistance for judges and court officials.
  • Three programs of the School of Music are dedicated to offering the greater San Marcos community the benefits of expert music instruction and activities for children: Youth Mariachi, Hill Country Youth Chorale, and the Texas State String Project.

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Superior Graduate Programs

  • Texas State offers a Ph.D. in materials science, engineering and commercialization in the College of Science and Engineering, the only program of its kind in the United States.
  • Our master of applied geography degree program was the first in the nation.
  • The Endowed Chair in Creative Writing brings first-rank novelists and poets to the department for a year at a time. Chair holders have included novelists Tim O’Brien, Denis Johnson, Leslie Marmon Silko, Cristina Garcia and Barry Hannah and poets Ai and Li Young Lee.
  • The Teaching Residency Program for Critical Shortage Areas recruits college graduates for an intensive, 14-month program that results in a master’s degree and Texas teaching certificate.
  • Through an innovative, multi-disciplinary program, Texas State offers a master’s degree in sustainability.
  • Texas State’s Ph.D. in developmental education is the first of its kind in the nation. The Ed.D. program in developmental education is the second in the nation.
  • Texas State offers doctorates in environmental geography, geographic education and geographic information science.

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Award-Winning Professors

  • A manuscript by Tom Grimes, a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, has been named one of 50 “classic” pieces of scholarship appearing in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly’s 84-year publishing history.
  • Jiyun Kang, an assistant professor in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences, received the Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal (FCSRJ) Emerging Scholar Award for 2011.
  • Texas State has had 19 faculty members honored as Piper Professors for their superior teaching. Only one other Texas university has had more. The 2012 honoree was Steven Furney from the Department of Human Health and Performance.
  • Hank Hehmsoth, a faculty member in the School of Music, was selected as the MacDowell Colony Norton Stevens Fellow for 2012. Hehmsoth was selected for this honor based on the spirit of his work and importance to the world community of artists.
  • Dr. Niem Huynh, then an assistant professor in the Department of Geography, won the 2011 Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award for innovative teaching practices in the “Higher Education: Face-to-Face” teaching category. Scott Bowman, an assistant professor in the School of Criminal Justice, received the Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award for 2010.
  • Barbara Sanders, chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, was named an American Physical Therapy Association Catherine Worthingham Fellow in 2010.
  • Tim O’Brien, professor of creative writing, received the 2012 Texas Writer Award at the Texas Book Festival and the 2010 Katherine Anne Porter Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His novel Going After Cacciato won the 1979 National Book Award.
  • Dr. Jaime Chahin, dean of Applied Arts, is on the advisory board of the EarthSky en Español project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation to promote science careers and education to a Spanish-speaking audience.
  • Dr. Rodney E. Rohde, associate professor in the College of Health Professions is on the National Environmental Decontamination Advisory Board, a panel of global thought leaders in infectious diseases, infection prevention, microbiology, environmental health, healthcare advocacy and risk management.

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Stellar Students

  • A group of 13 theatre students from the Department of Theatre and Dance were selected by the Royal Shakespeare Company to perform at the world-renowned Dell Theatre in June 2012 as part of the World Shakespeare Festival in Warwickshire, England. Texas State was among a select group of 11 other international educational and community theatres chosen to participate in the festival.
  • Marketing student Cress Terrell earned national recognition as the American Marketing Association’s 2011 Student Marketer of the Year.  
  • Texas State student Samantha Grief was first runner-up (second place) in the 2012 International Collegiate Sales Competition. Grief, Evan Floyd and Lauren Byrnes received the team trophy for second place overall.
  • A team of students from Texas State and the South China University of Technology was one of 15 college teams nationally to receive the prestigious P3 (People, Prosperity and the Planet) Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They were selected from 45 competing teams by a panel of national experts convened in Washington, D.C., to provide recommendations to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • Texas State students won seven of 12 awards in regional Model Organization of American States competition, earning an invitation to participate in the national competition in Washington, D.C.
  • English graduate student Heather Anastasiu signed a three-book deal with St. Martin's Press to publish her trilogy for young adults, a fantasy series titled Glitch. The first volume came out in summer 2012.
  • Molly O'Neill, computer science graduate student, received a $121,500 National Science Foundation graduate student research fellowship.
  • Engineering student Saul Villarreal took top honors at the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENAAC) Conference, placing first for his research on “Modeling, Analysis and Integration of Distributed Generation Systems in a Semiconductor Wafer Fab.”
  • Texas State theatre students won 18 awards at Region 6 of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festivalin 2011. Texas State students also won six of the 12 awards that advanced winners to the national festival held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
  • Georgia Young, a graduate student in theatre, was the national winner of the O’Neill National Critics Institute Scholarship during the 2011 American College Theatre Festival.
  • The Elton Abernathy Forensics Society, the university's competitive speech team, won the President's III Division at the National Forensics  Association's national tournament.
  • Debaters Luis Baez and Laura Driver placed second at the Pi Kappa Delta National Debate Tournament in Portland, Ore.
  • The National Collegiate Sales Competition team of Lauren Roig and Matt Bridger from Texas State finished in the top four among the 61 competing at the 2010 national conference. Roig interned at the U.S. Embassy in London during the summer of 2012.
  • Three health and human performance students won first place in a nationwide video contest hosted by the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation and its Adapted Physical Activity Council.
  • The Texas State University Chorale was one of eight collegiate choirs chosen through a referred selection process from 100 applications to perform as a featured ensemble at the National Conference for the American Choral Directors Association in Chicago.
  • At the regional Society of Professional Journalists contest, the University Star won four firsts, six seconds and three thirds and KTSW won first, second and third in in-depth reporting.
  • Texas State students were named the Outstanding Overall Delegation for their representation of Saudi Arabia in the regional Model Arab League competition in Houston.
  • Five concrete industry management majors placed second nationwide in a design competition of the American Concrete Institute in Pittsburgh.
  • Meaghan Patterson received a prestigious Fulbright grant that will allow her to spend a year as an assistant teacher and to present dance therapy workshops to women’s shelters across Bulgaria.
  • Senior Christopher Brandon Morales won fifth place in the Grand Concours de Chant International Vocal Competition and has been accepted to the Cincinnati Conservatory.

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Competitive Athletes

  • In fall 2012, the Bobcats joined the Western Athletic Conference and the Football Bowl Subdivision, the highest level of NCAA Division I competition.
  • Texas State has won the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Cup, given each year to the best overall athletic program in the SLC, five times in the last 10 years.
  • The Bobcats have claimed the SLC Women’s All-Sports Trophy 12 times.
  • Since 2000, Texas State has won conference championships in baseball, football, volleyball, men’s track and field, soccer, women’s track and field, women’s basketball, women’s golf and softball.
  •  The Bobcat baseball team, ranked in the top 25 in the nation, clinched its third consecutive Southland Conference regular season championship to claim the top spot in the SLC Tournament.
  • The Bobcat softball team has advanced to five NCAA championships and claimed the Southland Conference regular-season title four times.
  • The Bobcat softball and tennis teams received public recognition awards from the NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program for having Academic Progress Rates that rank among the top 10 percent in their respective sports.
  • Our graduate success rate in athletics, averaged over the last four years, is the second-highest in Division I public universities in Texas. It is higher than that of the University of Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.

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Outstanding Student Organizations

  • The Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team from Texas State claimed the 2011 SIFE national title, earning the right to represent the United States at the SIFE World Cup in Malaysia.
  • McCoy College’s Net Impact received the Chapter of the Year award for undergraduate programs at the 2011 Net Impact Conference.
  • Texas State's chapter of the American Marketing Association was named a Gold Chapter, tying it for second place internationally at the American Marketing Association International Collegiate Conference.
  • Students from the campus chapter of the Association for Information Technology Professionals placed in almost every category they entered in the 2011 national conference in Orlando.
  • Texas State’s Cancer Advocacy Movement for Colleges and Outreach (CAMCO), the alpha chapter for a statewide network, has registered more students with the national Be the Match bone marrow registry than any other university group in the state.

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Unique Campus Amenities

  • The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment is home to our campus’ most beautiful natural feature — the crystal-clear springs that feed the San Marcos River. The river meanders through campus and San Marcos and provides a home to eight endangered species.
  • The 3,485-acre Freeman Ranch, bequeathed to the university by Harry Freeman, is used by our students for farm, ranch, game management, educational and experimental purposes.
  • Among the many projects of the Center for Texas Music History are the Journal of Texas Music History, the Handbook of Texas Music, Texas Music History Online, Texas Music Café, and Travelin’ Texas CDs, Volumes 1, 2, and 3.
  • The Wittliff Collections, housed in Texas State’s Alkek Library, include the Southwestern Writers Collection, which preserves and exhibits the literary papers and artifacts of principal writers, filmmakers and musicians, and the Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection, which houses the largest archive of modern and contemporary Mexican photography in the United States.
  • The Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center serves as a writer’s residence and site for lectures and seminars by Texas State’s master of fine arts in creative writing program. The home is a National Literary Landmark.
  • The L.D. Clark and LaVerne Harrell Clark Literary Endowment provides a writers’ retreat in Smithville. Writers-in-residence are chosen from among students in Texas State’s master of fine arts program in creative writing.
  • The new Undergraduate Academic Center provides personal attention and guidance for Texas State’s nearly 30,000 undergraduate students. Featuring the PACE Center for freshman advising, as well as other career and academic resources, the center improves students’ success.

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Distinguished Alumni

  • Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1930, 36th president of the United States
  • Roy F. Mitte, 1953 and 1956, founder of Financial Industries Corporation, a group of national insurance companies
  • Tomás Rivera, 1958 and 1964, prominent author and former chancellor of the University of California-Riverside
  • Gary V. Woods, 1965, president and CEO of McCombs Enterprises; former president of San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Vikings
  • Marilyn Nolen, 1966, member, American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame
  • Powers Boothe, 1970, Emmy Award-winning actor
  • Heloise (Ponce Cruse), 1974, syndicated columnist and author
  • Thomas Carter, 1974, three-time Emmy Award-winning director
  • John Sharp, 1976, former Texas comptroller of public accounts
  • T. Paul Bulmahn, 1978, founder and CEO of ATP Oil & Gas Corporation, an offshore development and production company
  • George Strait, 1979, Grammy-nominated music artist and member of the Country Music Hall of Fame
  • F. Ann Millner, 1981, president, Weber State University
  • Charles Austin, 1991, Olympic gold medalist
  • Nina Vaca, 1994, two-time Hispanic Businesswoman of the Year
  • Jeff Foster, 2011, veteran center for Indiana Pacers 

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