This year's winners of the Faculty Excellence Awards are (from left): Jerry Dowling, Excellence in Teaching; Carol Smith, Excellence in Service; and Victor Sower, Excellence in Research.
Three Sam Houston State University professors will be honored for their outstanding contributions within and beyond the classroom at spring commencement exercises May 5.
Honored for Excellence
They are Jerry Dowling for Excellence in Teaching, Victor Sower for Excellence in Research, and Carol Smith for Excellence in Service.
Jerry Dowling, professor of criminal justice, has been on the SHSU faculty since 1972. He earned both his bachelor of science degree in 1967 and the doctor of jurisprudence degree in 1968 at The University of Tennessee.
Before going into university teaching, he worked in Dallas and Los Angeles as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
During his time at Sam Houston he has taught courses relating to law enforcement and police science, including introduction to law enforcement, legal aspects of law enforcement, criminal law, criminal procedure, criminal investigation, and public and private security systems.
He has served as the adviser to the SHSU chapters of Alpha Phi Sigma--the national criminal justice honor society, and Lambda Alpha Epsilon--the national association of criminal justice students.
His rapport with students and his methods of motivating them are known both in and out of the classroom.
"Professor Dowling uses non-conventional methods in his teaching, which students deeply appreciate," said Rolando del Carmen, distinguished professor of criminal justice.
"He poses hypothetical cases and challenges students to understand and dissect the law. I see his students sprawled all over the hallway near my office, poring over their class projects and discussing what the law means," del Carmen continued.
"It takes work and innovation to make students do that, and Jerry does a great job of it. Over the years, I have become convinced that law teaching requires extensive student involvement, much more than in other courses because the material is often boring to them. Jerry is good at getting them involved in the law. Many of his students have since gone on to law schools and have done well. His teaching technique has a lot to do with their performing well in the intensely competitive environs of a law school," said del Carmen.
Dowling's students recognize his interest in them. They also acknowledge his effort to make his classes interesting to them.
"Professor Dowling made a class that could easily have been boring, a class that you loved to go to," wrote one of his students. "I really enjoyed his lectures, and he made an attempt to get the entire class involved."
Former students appreciate his teaching, even after they have left Sam Houston. Dowling received an e-mail message from one of them earlier this year who wrote, "I just wanted to let you know that the information that we covered while in your class has proved invaluable to me yet again. I am currently taking a higher education law class and even though we are concentrating on the education side of the law and its effects on students, faculty and other parties, the information I received from (your) law class has been a great reference. I am way ahead of the others with the knowledge taken from your class. No brag--just fact."
Dowling has also earned the respect of his colleagues because of his use of technology in the classroom.
"Although he is what we call in our college a member of the 'older faculty,' he has shamed us 'old' hands by making aggressive and imaginative use of the Internet for the benefit of his students," said Charles Friel, former dean of the College of Criminal Justice. "His lectures, notes, legal references, study questions, simulated examinations and the like are electronically available to his students and are constantly being updated."
In addition to teaching, Dowling has found time to author or co-author numerous publications relating to law enforcement and fire service issues, supreme court decisions, and criminal investigation. He has served as co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Police Science, and currently serves as editor of Police Labor Monthly and Fire Service Labor Monthly .
He is the academic coordinator of the Texas Peace Officer Academic Licensing Academy at SHSU; a member of the Advisory Board of the Police Academy, Montgomery County Sheriff's Department; and a faculty member of the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas.
He recently served as a member of the Advisory Board of the Corrections Officer Skill Standards Project, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and Texas A&M University. The mission of this project was to identify necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the role of correctional officer under U.S. Department of Labor standards.
Excellence in Research
Victor Sower, associate professor of management in the College of Business Administration, earned his bachelor's degree in 1968 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, his MBA in 1980 at Auburn University, and his Ph.D. in 1990 at the University of North Texas.
He came to SHSU in 1990 and teaches courses in operations management, quality assurance management, purchasing and materials management, small business management, international business, management of innovation and technology, global supply chain management, and principles of management.
In 1997 and 1998, he taught in the SHSU Summer Program in Puebla, Mexico.
Sower has authored or co-authored publications in many prestigious operations management journals. He has also published two textbooks, with the most current book considered suitable for both practitioners and students.
Sower is the recipient of numerous research grants, including funding for the study of business students and retail managers in the Northern Hemisphere. He has directed consultation projects for a number of area businesses, and has conducted workshops and seminars on quality improvement and various other management issues.
He has developed new master of business administration courses at SHSU, and helped develop the curriculum for an emphasis in "operations management" for management majors.
He has been recognized with awards for his papers and presentations, and was appointed as Visiting Scholar at The University of Texas at Austin in conjunction with receiving a 1999 mini-grant from the UT Center for Middle Eastern Studies.
Sower was the recipient of the 1996 Excellence in Teaching Award at Sam Houston State University.
Excellence in Service
Carol Smith, professor of music, serves as the director of orchestral studies and conductor of the symphony orchestra in the School of Music at SHSU. She is also the artistic director of the Huntsville Youth Orchestra, director of the SHSU orchestra camps, and was musical adviser of the International Conductors' Institute for 10 years.
She received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Texas Christian University and her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. She has been with the music faculty at SHSU since 1979.
Smith has made guest conducting appearances in five European countries and 19 states throughout the United States, including engagements with the orchestra from the Vienna Academy of Music at the International Festival of Music in Austria, as well as festivals in Germany and Switzerland.
She has conducted music festivals, civic and youth orchestras, numerous regional orchestras and all-state organizations, musical theater orchestras throughout Texas, as well as SHSU opera and musical theater performances. She has also worked extensively as an adjudicator and clinician, and she is a published editor and arranger of music.
She holds memberships in numerous professional and honorary societies, and has served as a professional music consultant and adviser to a number of organizations.
She has provided service as a member of, and continues to serve on, many university committees, including those involving both curricular and extracurricular activities. Her service also encompasses active participation in local, regional and state organizations, and she is a national officer and board member of the American String Teachers Association with the National School Orchestra Association.
"In over 15 years of working in higher education, I have never met a faculty member who has given so much of their time, talent and expertise on behalf of the university, college and department as has Dr. Smith," said Robert Walzel, chair of the SHSU School of Music.
"The service accomplishments listed in her vitae are nothing short of staggering and yet, somehow all of this does not express the full magnitude of her contributions," he said. "Little things like counseling junior faculty members and making calls on behalf of students looking for jobs after graduation are things that do not show up in a vitae, but profoundly impact our university.
"Music professionals and aficionados outside of the university look to Dr. Smith as a source of knowledge and as a distinguished representative of the university and School of Music," Walzel continued. "She always serves as an ambassador of goodwill to these folks and paints the brightest and most positive picture of our university at every opportunity."
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SHSU Media Contact: Julia May
April 25, 2001
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