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Lutterschmidt, Wilson, Jasper Are 2006 Excellence Winners

Excellence Winners
From left, 2006 Faculty Excellence winners William I. Lutterschmidt, Everett D. Wilson, William A. Jasper, SHSU President James F. Gaertner.

Two biologists, one who is wrapping up a 44-year career at Sam Houston State University, and another who has made big waves in the biology field in just eight years at SHSU, are among this year's Faculty Excellence Award winners.

This year's honorees are Excellence in Teaching winner William A. Jasper, associate professor of mathematics and statistics; Excellence in Research winner William I. Lutterschmidt, associate professor of biology; and Excellence in Service winner Everett D. Wilson, professor of biology.

Each will receive $5,000.


William A. Jasper
William A. Jasper
Excellence in Teaching
If you walk into a strange classroom at Sam Houston State University and see a professor writing notes on a blackboard, it's probably not Bill Jasper, the 2006 Excellence in Teaching award winner.

One of his four teaching principles is "ensuring concept understanding during lessons," and he doesn't think that is possible when a teacher has his or her back to the class, writing on a blackboard. So he uses an overhead projector, handouts, and group work, which allows him to face his students.

"I can tell by their level of intensity, their facial expressions, and their body language whether they are grasping the concept or if they are struggling," said Jasper, who teaches the sometimes-feared subject of mathematics.

Jasper's other three main teaching themes include "feeling responsible for the learning of my students," "raising the self-confidence of my students," and "using technology to enhance learning."

"I truly believe that all students can be successful in mathematics," he said. "Even though I set a high standard of achievement for my students, I feel that I have failed as a teacher if a hard-working student is not successful in my class."

Although he has been a finalist for the Excellence in Teaching award in 2004 and 2005, there may be a few faculty and staff at Sam Houston State who do not know, or know about, Bill Jasper. Most of the students who want a great math teacher do.

Jasper is a relative newcomer to SHSU and to the teaching field, having retired at the rank of lieutenant colonel after 22 years of service in the United States Air Force. After retiring in 1989, he became a graduate student and research assistant at Texas A&M for two years, continued his studies while working as a teacher, and earned his doctorate in 1997. During that time he taught math at Blinn College and in College Station public schools.

After teaching two years at Stephen F. Austin State University, Jasper joined the SHSU faculty in 2000.

"Bill Jasper brings a genuine warmth and caring attitude along with a sense of humor to his classroom," wrote one colleague in nominating him for the award. "His students pick up on this. He is very demanding, but when I have spoken with his students, they have had nothing but praise for him."

Another wrote, "I have listened to many students discuss their experiences at SHSU and they tell me that Dr. Jasper has been the best teacher they had. No student has ever had anything but good to say about Dr. Jasper."

"He is genuinely concerned about his students," wrote another.


William I. Lutterschmidt
William I. Lutterschmidt
Excellence in Research

Bill Lutterschmidt, associate professor of biological sciences, has taught and done research at Sam Houston State University for a relatively short time (since 1998), but he has already developed a reputation among his colleagues far and wide for research excellence.

Lutterschmidt, earned his bachelor's degree from DeSales University in Pennsylvania, his master's from Southeastern University (Louisiana), and his doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. He came to Sam Houston State in 1998 and "hit the ground running," as one of his SHSU colleagues who nominated him for the award said.

During his relatively short career he has published 34 peer-reviewed articles in journals such as BioScience, Ecography, Hormones and Behavior, Brain, Behavior and Evolution, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology and the Journal of Thermal Biology. Exactly half of those were published since he joined the SHSU faculty.

There are also seven manuscripts in review and 10 additional ongoing research projects. He also has a peer-reviewed laboratory textbook that will be published by McGraw-Hill in January 2007.

He serves as associate editor for a scientific journal, The Southwestern Naturalist, and attends and participates in several meetings per year, including being instrumental in bringing the Southwestern Association of Naturalists' 2005 meeting to Sam Houston State. He is also a peer reviewer for 11 publications.

In addition he has given 69 presentations at international, national and regional meetings with 17 of these being invited seminars and symposia. He has also received more than $1 million in grant money, most of it since joining the SHSU faculty.

Lutterschmidt also enjoys training undergraduate and graduate students in the process of science, and has placed several in outstanding research laboratories across the country.

With his classes and out-of-class research, he has still found time to develop the Sam Houston State Vertebrate Museum and its research collection and established the museum's Natural History Education Program as well as the Edward O. Wiley Lecture Series.

The Natural History Education Program introduces elementary students to field biology and the biennial E. O. Wiley lectures highlight outstanding researchers in vertebrate biology.

"The bottom line is that Bill Lutterschmidt lives for research," said one of his nomination letters, "and he is very good at it."


Everett Wilson
Everett D. Wilson
Excellence in Service

Everett Wilson, who retires this summer as a full time faculty member after 44 years at what is now Sam Houston State University, is this year's winner of the Excellence in Service Award.

While he has compiled a long list of traditional academic and service accomplishments, the thing that seems to set Wilson apart from his colleagues who also have such accomplishments is his commitment to helping educate young people who could not otherwise afford college.

Since 1989 he has recruited, furnished partial or all tuition, transportation and free room and board for 15 students from Indiana, Belize, Alaska, Antigua, Mexico, Texas and Turkey.

A native of Perrysville, Indiana, Wilson earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Indiana State University and his doctorate from Purdue University.

He taught and coached in Indiana public schools and served three years in the U. S. Navy during the Korean war, eventually retiring at the rank of commander after 26 years as an active duty and reserve officer.         

He came to Sam Houston State in 1962 and was well on his way to becoming a premiere researcher in reproductive biology, with post-graduate research at Cambridge University, when he was asked to serve as dean of the College of Science.

For 14 years he concentrated on adding programs in environmental science, geoscience/geology, and computer science, on increasing the number of faculty members with doctorates, and in bringing in new faculty from throughout the United States.

Examples of his stature in his field include being appointed to be the state physiologist to serve on the Texas State Board of Examiners in the Basic Sciences by Governor John Connally in 1966, being reappointed by two other governors, and serving as the board's vice president and president.

"The amount of service that Everett has rendered to this university is astonishing," wrote one colleague in nominating Wilson for the award. "His service extends beyond the university to the state and the nation.         

"The amount of time that he has spent doing service outside of class, outside of office hours, and outside of administrative duties probably exceeds the amount of time most faculty spend in class, in office hours, and performing administrative duties combined."

Further evidence of Wilson's commitment to education is that he plans to establish the Clarence Wilson International Scholarship Fund, named in honor of his father, with the $5,000 he receives from the university as an excellence award winner.


SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
May 9, 2006
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