Mathematics Professor Recognized By TSUS Regents
Jan. 31, 2019
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton
Each year, the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System honors professors whose performance and contributions to the educational community have been exemplary. Recipients of the Regents' Professor Award hold the title for the duration of their service within the System. They also receive a $5,000 award, a commemorative medallion and a framed Board of Regents resolution.
Scott Chapman, distinguished professor and scholar in residence for the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, recently earned this honor and was formerly recognized at the Board of Regents meeting. Chapman is the ninth professor to receive this award from Sam Houston State University since 2007.
“Receiving this award is humbling. To me, it justifies that hard work does eventually pay off,” Chapman said. “I have been very lucky to work with some very talented students and peers in my time that has led to my career paying off in this way.”
Chapman earned his bachelor degree in mathematics from Wake Forest University, his master’s from the University of North Carolina and Ph.D. from the University of North Texas. He came to SHSU in 2008 from Trinity University in San Antonio, and in 2018 was designated a distinguished professor of mathematics and statistics.
During his time as a professor, Chapman has taught every level of the subject from remedial to graduate level. Despite the difference in skills required at each classification, his students all share similar comments on end of semester ratings about his dedication to teaching.
-“He is a wonderful teacher and definitely challenges the students to think through everything.”
-“He is a very good teacher. I was lost some of the time but his notes are very helpful in studying.”
-“I thought Dr. Chapman was one of the best abstract instructors I have ever had. His direct approach and timely feedback made a subject that is very difficult for me, achievable.”
-“I never imagine doing well in a math course. I am horrible at the subject. However, Dr. Chapman makes it clear and understandable. I am not so afraid of math anymore and I feel confident in my studies knowing that I can do calculus.”
When it comes to teaching, Chapman has a philosophy that goes beyond simply calculating the numbers to get an answer.
“Math is not just about numbers, it is about problem solving and that skill can translate to many parts of your life. Students will have to solve problems no matter what they do in life. Math helps them think logically and effectively and work their way through that,” Chapman said. “In order to really appreciate mathematics you have to do mathematics. So, when I teach the subject I do not just tell my students to turn to page 38 and solve the problems. I want them to really look at the things they are studying and trying to determine the interesting nature of their structure.”
Chapman also excels in his scholarly activity, having authored or co-authored 107 peer-reviewed publications.
“It is easy to see that Dr. Chapman has not only had an impact on Sam Houston State, but also on the field of mathematics at a global level,” said SHSU President Dana Hoyt. “Even with his involvement in research, he remains an instructor who is sought out by students. In his 30 plus years of teaching, he has taught over 20 different subjects within mathematics.”
Dedication to his discipline does not stop with teaching and research either, as Chapman was recently appointed editor-in-chief at Communications in Algebra, a premier publication for the subject. He has also taken on the challenge of reviewing for dozens of other journals, chairing meetings and serving on editorial boards.
“If you don’t challenge yourself, how can you expect the students to challenge themselves too? I think as long as you are trying to do the same thing that students are doing, which is learning, you are not going to lose touch with them,” Chapman said.
Alongside support from university leadership and students, Chapman’s peers at SHSU also enthusiastically support this honor.
“Professor Chapman embodies the teaching scholar model value so highly at SHSU,” said Melinda Holt, chair and professor in the Department of Statistics. “He has spent his career advancing the field of mathematics directly through his research and service and indirectly through the development of those that came behind him. He has truly proven himself to be more than worthy of the Regents’ Professor Award.”
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