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Faculty Recognized With 2012 'Excellence' Awards

June 25, 2012
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

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Faculty Excellence winners
Provost Jaimie Hebert and university President Dana Gibson congratulate the four winners of the 2012 Faculty Excellence Awards. This year's recipients include (from left, flanked by Hebert and Gibson) Stacey Edmonson, Excellence in Service; Richard E. Watts, Excellence in Research; John Newbold, Excellence in Teaching; and Phillip Lyons, the first recipient of the David Payne Academic Community Engagement Award. —Photo by Brian Blalock


Professors at Sam Houston State University do more than just teach. For the approximately 900 faculty members currently teaching at SHSU, their days are filled not only with service in the classroom, but within their communities and to their fields through scholarly research.

This year, four whose demonstrated commitment stands out from among their peers have been selected to receive one of SHSU’s Faculty Excellence Awards.

The 2012 winners include John Newbold, Excellence in Teaching; Richard E. Watts, Excellence in Research; Stacey Edmonson, Excellence in Service; and Phillip Lyons, the first recipient of the David Payne Academic Community Engagement Award.


John Newbold

“Excellent teaching is a transformative activity that is critical to the quality of the lives of individuals and instrumental to the continued prosperity of communities. Each student is unique, representing a wide range of backgrounds and levels of academic preparedness.”

This is part of the teaching philosophy of associate professor of marketing John Newbold, SHSU’s Excellence in Teaching Award recipient.

Newbold earned his bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University, his master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati, and his doctorate from St. Louis University. Before coming to SHSU to teach full time in 2001, he worked for several corporations in the private sector.

Within SHSU’s management and marketing department, he developed the graduate course in marketing for financial services; and undergraduate courses “Problems in Marketing” that is tailored to the campus American Marketing Association club, “International Management and Marketing,” the correspondence/online adaptations of “Principles of Marketing” and “Retailing,” and the hybrid “Strategic Marketing Management.” He also leads international summer field school classes to Costa Rica.

Through these classes, Newbold said he works to inspire his students and has adopted an “enthusiastic, experiential approach” to help students understand aspects of what he considers a challenging discipline to teach. His students, who filled his nominations with statements of how much he “really cares about his students” and is an “awesome teacher,” find this approach appealing.

“Dr. Newbold takes the time to present the information in a fun, easy to understand way. He listens to students when they ask questions or are unclear,” one student said. “Dr. Newbold also uses his past work experience to relate the material to our demographics. He puts a lot of effort into his classes and it is time he gets recognized for this. He encouraged me to pursue a marketing major.”

Newbold also said he incorporates hands-on opportunities, such as having students hypothetically run the hotdog stand at SHSU sporting events, as a way to best support the learning objective, and works to make changes to the traditional pedagogical approach to facilitate the effective completion of assignments.

“I began my MBA career intending to take courses online exclusively, but due to limited course selections, I ended up taking a ‘Marketing Problems’ class with Dr. John Newbold last summer at the UC in The Woodlands. That was the wisest decision of my graduate career,” one student nominator said. “I loved his class so much that despite the fact that I live and work 1.5 hours away from the UCW, I decided to take two more courses with him in the fall; and if he teaches more electives in the future, I'll be there with bells on every week.

“Dr. Newbold is a wonderful instructor with fresh ideas and a really relatable, real world, hands-on approach to teaching,” the student continued. “He weaves funny and engaging stories from experiences as a former market research exec into every lecture, which keeps his students on the edge of their seats, and helps them to really understand how the concepts he teaches are applied in the real world. Beyond being a great lecturer, he is also a true champion for his students.

His research interests, which include entrepreneurialism in marketing and marketing on the Internet, is currently focused on service learning and marketing pedagogy.

He previously won the College of Business Administration’s “Faculty Excellence Award” in 2009.

Richard Watts

The prolific nature of Distinguished Professor of Counselor Education Richard E. Watts’s work in the counseling field has earned him SHSU’s Faculty Excellence Award in Research.

The author of more than 121 scholarly publications—including 97 refereed journal articles and book chapters, and six books—Watts’s 23-year career in counseling has led an acknowledgement by his field as a “primary source,” one who has either created theories or is considered an expert in a theory, on Adlerian Therapy and on ethical, religious and spirituality issues in counseling.

His vast publications, in combination with the more than 152 professional presentations and workshops he has given around the world, have led to his being recognized as one of the 20 most prolific authors in his discipline.

Watts regularly publishes in the American Counseling Association’s flagship journal, the Journal of Counseling and Development, as well as the association’s division journals, and has been invited to present workshops and keynote lectures nationally and internationally, including Germany, Lithuania, Romania, Switzerland and Turkey.

Watts’s research interests include Adlerian, cognitive, and constructivist approaches to individual and couple and family counseling, counselor supervision and counselor efficacy, ethical and legal issues, play therapy, and religious and spirituality issues in counseling.

Watts’s publication and presentation numbers, along with his international visibility and reputation, are remarkable and are a testament to his sustained research agenda and commitment to the profession, according to Faculty Excellence in Research chair Joyce McCauley.

“Taken as a whole, my experience tells me that Dr. Watts’ contributions to counseling places him in the top 1 percent of professional counselors who have advanced the profession in the past 15 years,” one colleague stated.

“Dr. Watts has made significant, distinctive, and unique contributions to the body of research in the counseling profession,” another nominator said.

Among the other recognitions Watts has received are: SHSU University Distinguished Professor in 2011, president of the North American Society for Adlerian Psychology (2011-2013), fellow of the American Counseling Association (2010), diplomat in Adlerian Psychology by the North American Society for Adlerian Psychology (2007), “Counselor Educator of the Year” by the Texas Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (2007), and the “Professional Writing Award” from Texas Counseling Association (2006).

Stacey Edmonson

Recognized by colleagues as an outstanding leader, who gives “unselfishly of her time and efforts,” chair of the educational leadership and counseling department Stacey Edmonson has been recognized with the Faculty Excellence in Service award.

During her nearly 12-year career at SHSU, Edmonson has taught classes at the graduate level, served on 77 doctoral dissertation committees, published three books, 69 refereed journal articles, 19 book chapters, and numerous invited and non-juried articles. She has presented at more than 135 national, state and regional conferences and has obtained 13 grants, one of which totaled $783,000.

“Dr. Edmonson is highly involved in providing service at all levels including service to the profession, the community, the university, college, and department,” one nominator said. “She serves on several national boards, including the Coca-Cola Scholarship Board, for professional associations, research organizations, and community foundations. She has chaired the SHSU Faculty Senate and served in several service leadership capacities during her tenure here at SHSU.”

Among the myriad areas of service listed on Edmonson’s vita are journal editor, reviewer and editorial board member; program chair for two national conferences and reviewer for three others; executive board member for four organizations; National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education board of examiners members; organization officer, including president, for four organizations; executive director for the Texas Council of Professors of Educational Administration; and a plethora of university, college and departmental committees.

“Dr. Stacey Edmonson embodies the saying, ‘If you want something done, ask a busy person,’” one nominator said.

Colleagues also touted her for exceeding “the characteristics of a servant leader;” a “role model” and “constant advocate for education,” who is dedicated to her students; and one who “holds SHSU in high esteem through both through her words and deeds.”

“As administrator within Sam Houston State University Dr. Edmonson stands out and is an outstanding leader,” another nominator said. “She is not only a goal setter but also a goal achiever.

“She has a clear vision and is focused to achieve the mission of SHSU. She constantly builds new relationships and utilizes her existing one to help better the department and students she works with. Her work and life is rooted in a value system that treats everyone with respect and she conducts her life with ethical conviction. Her principles are deep and her heart is caring.”

Phillip Lyons

As the first recipient of the David Payne Academic Community Engagement Award, Phillip Lyons continues to move into the foreground of Sam Houston State University’s motto, “The measure of a Life is its Service.”

The engagement award, named after former provost David Payne who formed the university’s American Democracy Project Committee, is given to a faculty member who shows “excellence in Community Engagement through their teaching, research, and service.” Through SHSU’s Engaged Scholars Committee, colleges offer academic community engagement-certified courses (a total of 106 courses) in which students apply the knowledge of their academic disciplines to define and address issues of public concern and advocate for change through close, collaborative, community partnerships.

Currently professor of criminal justice and executive director of the Texas Regional Community Policing Institute at SHSU, Lyons offers two courses that have a community engagement focus, face-to-face “Policing Strategy” course and his on-line “Law and Society” course.

His instrumental work in establishing an internship between Alvin and League City Police Departments as part of the Chinese Police Cadets Exchange Program, which hosts students from the Zhejiang Police College in Hangzhou, China, has made a worldwide impact. For this work, the City of League City proclaimed Jan. 11, 2012, as Chinese National Police Day and extended its “Building Bridges Award” as “a token of our esteem and mutual respect.”

“His eloquence in handling multiple personalities during the yearly cadet program puts everyone involved at ease. He is masterful in forming partnerships not only with students from another country, but also with two police agencies who furnish the host families,” a support letter stated.

“Professor Lyons believes these students greatly benefit from living the American policing lifestyle, and he has proven correct,” the letter continued. “These young cadets that visit League City will surely be important policy makers, and I am certain that the individuals will reflect upon their visit to America with admiration and respect. No one can anticipate the policy outcomes that may occur from such memories.”

It is a sentiment resounded by the cadets when they reflect back upon the experience.

“With the great hospitality and consideration of our host family and the Alvin Police Department, we had a special experience which allowed us to go deep into American life and develop a comprehensive knowledge of the practice of American policing,” one student said. “But what touched us most was that we made more kind friends from this special and impressive experience.”

“Theories experienced for oneself speak much louder than theories written in textbooks,” another student said.

College of Criminal Justice colleagues point to his work within the classroom utilizing a focus on community engagement that make is work so important to the college, stating that “his message is consistent, serve the students, the community, and the school;” “Philip has such a well-established history of course-related community engagement for his students;” and “he had community engagement components in some of his courses even before there were ACE courses.”



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