Date of Release: 05/02/2005
SAN MARCOS—Texas State University-San Marcos Department of Geography faculty member Byron Dale Augustin has been named Piper Professor for 2005 by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation.
Augustin was named Piper Professor on May 2 in honor of his dedication and service to teaching at the collegiate level. Piper Foundation honorees are chosen by committee members who look for well-rounded, outgoing teachers, devoted to their profession and have made a special impact on their students and the community.
“At my age, one of the things I love about teaching is being around college-age students. They’re refreshing. They’re inquisitive. They’ve got a good sense of humor,” Augustin said. “I really enjoy being in front of a class and talking about a significant issue impacting the world, and to just watch them open up and start asking questions: ‘Why? Why is this happening? What’s the reason for the political situation in this place?’”
There are two things Augustin wants his students to take away from his classes, he said. One is a tolerance of their fellow human beings, and the other is a spark that demands they not settle for merely learning from books--that they go out and experience the wonders of the world for themselves.
The Piper recognition doesn’t come to Augustin without precedent. In his years at Texas State, he has earned the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Alumni Association Teaching Award of Honor and the Associated Student Government Outstanding Student Educator Award to go along with the National Council for Geographic Education Distinguished Teaching Achievement Award, presented to only 10 teachers in United States and Canada annually. The Piper Professor award serves as a capstone to a long and distinguished teaching career.
Augustin is the 5th consecutive Texas State professor and 14th overall to be named a Piper Professor. Other Texas State Piper Professors have been Emmie Craddock, 1962, history; Robert Galvan, 1968, modern languages; Thomas Brasher, 1970, English; Dan Farlow, 1975, political science; Clarence Schultz, 1976, sociology; Henrietta Avent, 1979, health and physical education; Robert Walts, 1982, English; Beverly Chiodo, 1988, computer information systems and administrative sciences; Barbara Hatcher, 1993, curriculum and instruction; Michael John Hennessy, 2001, English; Nancy Fehl Chavkin, 2002, social work; Paul Nathan Cohen, 2003, English, and James David Bell, 2004, Business.