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COESS Endowed Chairs and Professorships

Endowed Chairs and Professorships in the college strengthen the University’s foundation of academic excellence through expanding opportunities for exceptional faculty members by providing additional resources for teaching, meaningful scholarship, and professional development. Endowed Chairs and Professorships provide the University a valuable tool in recruiting and retaining exceptional faculty members. Funds generated from the endowment allow the University to reward scholarly excellence and encourage research while enhancing program growth and development.

For information concerning the establishment of an endowed Chair or Professorship, please contact Dr. Eddie Henderson ehenderson@wtamu.edu, 806-651-2603.

The Teel Bivins Professor of Political Science

Dr. Dave Rausch

The Teel Bivins Professor of Political Science was established in 2008 with gifts from the family, friends, and colleagues of the late Ambassador Teel Bivins and the Mary E. Bivins Foundation in recognition of the significant contributions of Ambassador Bivins to Texas and to the nation in the arena of public service. Senator Bivins was a well-known and effective leader in the Texas Panhandle, in the state Senate, and internationally. Senator Bivins was elected to the Texas Senate in 1989 and appointed United States Ambassador to Sweden in 2004. Senator Bivins chaired the Texas Senate Finance Committee, Education Committee, Nominations Committee, and Subcommittee on Agriculture. The establishment of the Teel Bivins Professor of Political Science and the Teel Bivins Professor of American Politics enables the University to identify and retain outstanding political science faculty members; to pay tribute to the Bivins family for their pioneering work in the region; to pay tribute to Ambassador Bivins for his visionary leadership; to initiate meaningful scholarly research important to the area; to educate, prepare and inspire future leaders. Appointments to the Teel Bivins Professorships are granted for a three-year period and recognize excellence in teaching, scholarship, and professional service.

Dr. Dave Rausch 

2009 - Present

The Honorable Teel Bivins Professor of American Politics 

Dr. Reed Welch

The Honorable Teel Bivins Professor of American Politics was established in 2008 with gifts from the family, friends, and colleagues of the late Ambassador Teel Bivins and the Mary E. Bivins Foundation in recognition of the significant contributions of Ambassador Bivins to Texas and to the nation in the arena of public service. Senator Bivins was a well-known and effective leader in the Texas Panhandle, in the state Senate, and internationally. Senator Bivins was elected to the Texas Senate in 1989 and appointed United States Ambassador to Sweden in 2004. Senator Bivins chaired the Texas Senate Finance Committee, Education Committee, Nominations Committee, and Subcommittee on Agriculture. The establishment of the Teel Bivins Professor of Political Science and the Teel Bivins Professor of American Politics enables the University to identify and retain outstanding political science faculty members; to pay tribute to the Bivins family for their pioneering work in the region; to pay tribute to Ambassador Bivins for his visionary leadership; to initiate meaningful scholarly research important to the area; to educate, prepare and inspire future leaders. Appointments to the Teel Bivins Professorships are granted for a three-year period and recognize excellence in teaching, scholarship, and professional service.

Dr. Reed Welch

2019 - Present

The Dr. Lanna Hatton Professor of Learning Disabilities

Dr. Michelle L. Simmons

The Lanna Hatton Professor of Learning Disabilities was established by Bob and Lanna Hatton to recognize and honor the distinguished career and professional contributions of Lanna Hatton to the field of education including the education of individuals with learning disabilities. Mrs. Hatton has dedicated her professional life to excellence in education for all learners. She served with distinction as a master teacher and instructional leader for many years.  The professorship is designated to provide ongoing leadership for the continued growth and development of the WTAMU Center for Learning Disabilities

Dr. Michelle L. Simmons

2020 - Present 

 

Sylvia Nugent Professor of Education

Dr. Beth Garcia

The Sylvia Nugent Professor of Education was established in 2021 in Sylvia Nugent’s honor, recognizing her years of service in Texas politics, including political consulting, fundraising, and other jobs for key political leaders, including former U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry and Texas state Rep. Four Price.

The Nugent professorship recognizes the need to use education as a vehicle to support democracy. Teaching students to think critically, debate, and convert information into knowledge is a cornerstone of democracy. The professorship enhances student engagement opportunities, critical thinking, and innovation by supporting the teaching, research, and service activities of an exceptional faculty member.

Dr. Beth Garcia

2021 - Present

The John G. O'Brien Distinguished Chair in Education 

Dr. Shanna Peeples

The Dr. John G. O’Brien Distinguished Chair in Education was established in 2008 by members of the Dr. John G. O’Brien family, the Amarillo Area Foundation, and the Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation to honor Dr. John G. O’Brien who instilled in his family a profound dedication to strengthening public school education in the Texas Panhandle and beyond. Dr. O’Brien was a leader in the oil and gas and ranching industries, and his meaningful philanthropic efforts have been recognized by numerous entities including receiving the Pinnacle Award from West Texas A&M in 2009.

The Dr. John G. O’Brien Distinguished Chair in Education shall be an outstanding faculty member who has a strong theoretical background in educational research.  Working in collaboration with area school district partners and the WTAMU Department of Education faculty, the Chair will identify current issues in education relating to "best teaching" practices and will conduct in-depth scholarly research concerning such issues/questions to determine research-based best practices. Utilizing research findings, the Chair will provide professional development opportunities for WTAMU Department of Education faculty as well as administrators and teachers in area public school districts. The Chair will identify opportunities to deliver research findings on the state, national, and international platforms and publish research findings in professional journals.

Dr. Shanna Peeples

2020 - Present 

The Helen Piehl Professor of Education

Dr. Ashley J. Campbell

The Helen Piehl Professor of Education was established in 2008 by Helen Piehl, a distinguished alumnus of West Texas A&M University, who through her generosity and dedication to students and learning has enhanced the quality of education throughout the Texas Panhandle and beyond. Through her outstanding example of philanthropy, commitment, and leadership, including many years of dedicated service to the WTAMU Foundation Board of Directors and service as its President. Helen Piehl has influenced university students and her peers to give generously of their time and talents and to strive for excellence. In addition to serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Western Sales, Inc., Ms. Piehl dedicates her efforts to many charitable organizations including service as Secretary to the Texas State 4H Youth Development Foundation. She was the recipient of the WTAMU Old Main Society Pinnacle Award in 2011. Ms. Piehl established the Professorship in a lasting tribute to her mother, Eula Hayes - a 1918 graduate of West Texas Normal College - and to the many members of her family who dedicated their professional lives to public school education. Appointments to the Helen Piehl Professor of Education are granted for a three-year period and recognize excellence in teaching, scholarship, and professional service.

Dr. Ashley J. Campbell

2009 - Present

The Geneva Schaeffer Professor of Education and Social Sciences

Dr. Betty Coneway

The Geneva Schaeffer Professor of Education and Social Sciences was established by Geneva Schaeffer in 2010. Mrs. Schaeffer, a distinguished alumnus of West Texas A&M University, continues to demonstrate an unfailing dedication to students and learning. Her generosity and enthusiasm have enhanced the quality of education and student life at WTAMU. Her leadership continues to influence university alumni and her peers to give generously of their time and talents. Mrs. Schaeffer demonstrated her commitment to the University community through her dedicated service to the WTAMU Foundation Board of Directors from 1994-2002 serving as its president. Her leadership and philanthropy, which have focused on education, leadership training, and youth programs, have been recognized by numerous entities including her receiving the WTAMU Old Main Society Pinnacle Award in 2005 and being named the 2006 Outstanding Philanthropist by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In 2010, Mrs. Schaeffer was inducted as a Platinum Member of the Old Main Society. Appointments to the Geneva Schaeffer Professor of Education and Social Sciences are granted for a three-year period and recognize excellence in teaching, scholarship and professional service.

Dr. Betty Coneway

2021 - Present