I hope you will indulge me if I take a few moments to reflect on my time at Texas State.
I am filled with many emotions as I approach my retirement at the end of August, but the strongest feeling is one of gratitude. I feel fortunate for the opportunity to complete my 40+ year career in science and research administration at this amazing university. Someone asked recently, “What surprised you most when you first arrived at Texas State?” and “What’s the most important lesson you learned during your time here?”
While it was not really a surprise, I did quickly understand just how important this university is to so many people; the thousands of students who matriculate here and acquire tools to create their future; the world-class faculty and research community who are provided a canvas and support to create knowledge and solve real-world problems; the people living in San Marcos and central Texas who benefit from the economic impact of a research-intensive university like Texas State; and thousands of others in Texas, the United States, and internationally who partner with the university to accomplish amazing things. The positive impact of Texas State is pervasive, profound, and growing all the time. Honestly, this realization inspired and motivated me to do everything I could to support the mission of Texas State.
And the lesson I will take away is one that I’ve always believed but which was reinforced by my time here — the power of diversity and meaningful partnerships to achieve greatness. As a scientist, I have always had a problem with the statement, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” as it seems this is thermodynamically impossible. However, my time here has taught me that the whole can be, and in fact almost always is, greater than the sum of its parts, plus their interactions. Over and over again, during the past five years, I have witnessed this: teams that embrace diversity in its many dimensions and value interdisciplinary approaches to solving problems get the big grants, do the important work, and make meaningful progress toward solving some of the biggest problems facing society. Texas State has internalized and normalized this approach and it is powerful, with many more accomplishments to come. You will see great examples in this current issue of Engaging Research.
So, Sara and I will head back to Ohio where I will shovel snow instead of pollen. I will be paying attention to Texas State as it achieves NRUF eligibility and tracks toward R1 because, along the way, you will be making life better for so many people.
Thank you for your kindness and your support.
New Faculty Research Spotlight
Passion for Social Inclusion Drives Professor’s Research on Student Health and Wellness
"With funding from Special Olympics, Inc. and the U.S. Department of Education, our research team set out to increase inclusion on college and university campuses with IPSE programs."
Exciting research happens every day in every department of Texas State University. Our faculty generate new knowledge and catalyze ideas into reality, combining creativity and determination to achieve innovation.
Each semester, we feature some of these accomplished researchers in our newsletter, where they share their work and advice about funding, managing teams, and more. The newsletter also includes practical tips for finding collaborators, mentoring students, and using ORSP’s resources to the fullest.
Remember, ORSP is here to support your research from start to finish.
Kay Hetherly, editor
Christopher Larson, web developer