Jerry Cook Named Regents’ Professor By TSUS
Dec. 7, 2020
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton
Jerry Cook, professor of Biological Sciences, was named a Texas State University System Regents’ Professor, a designation that recognizes professors whose performances shine on three main objectives—outstanding research, teaching and service. Along with the award, recipients of the Regents’ Professor Award maintain this title for the duration of their service within the system.
Cook, now in his 21st year at Sam Houston State University, says he was honored to even be considered a candidate for this award and that his passion for science has never wavered.
“I really appreciated that I was even asked to apply for this. I was amazed to have won. I am just doing what I really like to do in teaching and research,” Cook said. “Before I began this career, I used to tell myself that even if I didn’t become a researching professor, I would just get another job and do science on the side. I was passionate about it and really like doing it. So now, I feel weird about getting this award for doing my dream job.”
Colleagues in the College of Science & Engineering Technology were happy to write the TSUS Board on Cook’s behalf because of his dedication to helping SHSU in any way.
“Dr. Cook is an outstanding teacher to both undergraduate and graduate students. His entomology course is always well attended, and he is very much in demand by students,” said John Pascarella, dean of the College of Science & Engineering Technology. “We joke that he is a ‘company man,’ having been asked to be an interim chair or acting dean and he said yes. He has also served as a department chair, graduate dean, and College of Sciences dean when those roles were vacant.”
Cook’s passion for helping students in science is displayed in many ways. His dedication has led to teaching 22 different courses, serving as the major advisor for 12 master’s level students, 29 master’s level committees and 3 doctoral level committees.
Cook says science is a key to moving the world forward.
“We need to use science to help make our lives better. We never know what part of science will become extremely important at any given time,” Cook said. “A basic understanding of science and what is does is important to convey to everyone. When we teach science, we build scientific literacy to future generations and then we, as a society, can deal with any crisis that occurs.”
Cook's award was confirmed at the virtual Board of Regents meeting on Dec. 7. He will receive a commemorative medallion, a certificate and a monetary award to go with the title of Regents' Professor.
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