Coneway Named WT’s New Geneva Schaeffer Professor of Education and Social Sciences

Chip Chandler Aug 24, 2021
  • Education
  • One West

Coneway Named WT’s New Geneva Schaeffer Professor of Education and Social Sciences

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


CANYON, Texas — A longtime early childhood education professor at West Texas A&M University has been newly appointed to an endowed professorship.

Dr. Betty Coneway, who joined WT in 2007 as a part-time instructor following a career as a classroom instructor and administrator in Hereford, is the new Dr. Geneva Schaeffer Professor of Education and Social Sciences.

“I believe this professorship will allow me to hone my teaching craft, enhance my professional growth as a lifelong learner and encourage me in acquiring new pedagogical skills,” Coneway said. “The professorship also will enhance opportunities for meaningful professional service and provide funding for ongoing research interests.”

The professorship was established in 2010 by Schaeffer, a distinguished WT alumna and philanthropist, to stimulate academic excellence and enhance scholarship, research and instruction for faculty in the College of Education and Social Sciences. Coneway will fill the shoes of the last Schaeffer professor, Dr. Harry Hueston, who retired in 2020.

“Dr. Coneway is an excellent selection for the Schaeffer Professorship,” said Dr. Eddie W. Henderson, dean of the College of Education and Social Sciences. “Like Dr. Schaeffer, Betty has a passion for learning and a devotion to students, particularly in public education. She undoubtedly will live up to Dr. Schaeffer’s legacy.”

Coneway said the professorship will allow her to pursue research into the early identification of dyslexia and into how to support families of students with dyslexia, as well as early childhood intervention and early writing development.

“I am excited to explore the benefits of receiving this generous assistance and look forward to the many opportunities afforded by this appointment,” Coneway said.

Coneway earned degrees from Saint Mary of the Plains College, WT and Texas Tech University. She holds teaching certifications as a generalist, a reading specialist and in English as a Second Language and elementary. She has published works in Journal of Applied Research on Children, Experiential Learning & Teaching in Higher Education, Texas Journal of Literacy Education, and the European Journal of Education Sciences, among others.

Gifts to WT may be used to endow professorships, offering opportunities for exceptional faculty members by providing additional resources for teaching, research and professional activities and development. Faculty members benefit from the coveted title, and students glean from the professor’s academic insight and leadership. This helps enrich the life of the University and strengthen the foundation of academic excellence.

“As WT prepares to go public in the fall with a comprehensive fundraising campaign, the highest priority will be investment in people — students, faculty and staff,” said Dr. Todd Rasberry, vice president for philanthropy and external relations. “Establishing faculty endowments are essential for WT to become a doctoral granting regional research university as envisioned in WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.”


About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. With enrollment of more than 10,000, WT offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 40 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.