Texas Tech University.
All Things Texas Tech

Texas Tech Integrated Scholars 2011

Fall 2011

“Academic work . . . is not just a job; it is a total activity, a way of life, a mixture of myth and reality.” 

—Robert T. Blackburn (1923-  )
Former Professor,
Center for the Study of Higher Education,
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Bob Smith

Katie Allen
Senior Editor, Academic Communications (Former)

Scott Irlbeck
Senior Producer,
Office of Communications and Marketing

There continues to be notable responses to the All Things Texas Tech (ATTT) series (Smith, 2009; Smith and Allen, 2010) on integrated scholars. TTU faculty members are increasingly using the terminology in promotion and tenure files. The feedback also has been very positive from new faculty hires during 2009 and 2010. Thus, we have been inspired to share the integrated scholar concept with faculty members joining the university this fall. At the same time, we wanted to note the impressive work of a new selection of integrated scholars at Texas Tech.

For the edification of new ATTT readers, here is a brief review of the integrated scholar concept:

  1. Using the metaphor of the “triple threat” (i.e., in football, the player who excels in running, kicking, and passing; in the performing arts, artists who are outstanding at acting, dancing, and singing), we note parallel academicians who are not only outstanding in teaching, research, and service, but also are able to generate synergy among the three functions.
  2. Faculty members who are integrated scholars consistently promote active learning, and infuse the results of their research and scholarship in courses and other learning experiences. Integrated scholars publish results of their teaching innovations in peer-reviewed journals. Also, integrated scholar faculty members plan and execute service commitments to complement their teaching and research goals. Moreover, their outreach efforts inform all that they do in the domains of their teaching/learning and research/scholarship/creative efforts.

The Integrated Scholar Further Exemplified

Having reviewed briefly the integrated scholar model, we would now like to offer a new set of TTU faculty members who have developed records as integrated scholars. As noted in the first two articles of this series, we know that by making selections, some faculty members who have distinct claims to integrated scholarship may feel left out. However, as promised in the first two articles, we intend to continue this series through the decade (2010-2020) of the university’s current strategic plan (Making it possible. . .). Thus, the overall list will expand with time, and we hope there will be many opportunities for our academic community to revel in the integrated scholarly efforts of many more Texas Tech integrated scholar faculty members.

For now, and for additional illustrative purposes, we have chosen to highlight 12 of Texas Tech’s “academic triple threats”: Cindy Akers, Professor of Agricultural Communications, Department of Agricultural Education and Communications (College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources); Laura Beard, Professor of Spanish and Interim Chair, Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures (College of Arts and Sciences); Dorothy Chansky, Associate Professor of Theatre, Department of Theatre and Dance (College of Visual and Performing Arts); Claudia Cogliser, Associate Professor of Management (Rawls College of Business Administration); Lee Cohen, Professor and Department Chair, Department of Psychology (College of Arts and Sciences); Jerry Dwyer, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Department of Mathematics and Statistics (College of Arts and Sciences); Andrew Jackson, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (Whitacre College of Engineering); Vaughn James, Judge Robert Bean Professor of Law (School of Law); Elizabeth Louden, Professor of Architecture (College of Architecture); Michael O’Boyle, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, and Interim Director of the Texas Tech Neuroimaging Institute (College of Human Sciences, Office of the Vice President for Research); Valerie Paton, Vice Provost for Planning and Assessment, Interim Dean of the University College, and Associate Professor of Higher Education (Office of the Provost, College of Education); Carolyn Tate, Professor of Art History, School of Art (College of Visual and Performing Arts).

Meet the 2011 Integrated Scholars

Cindy AkersCindy Akers, Agricultural Communications

Professor Akers is a truly remarkable integrated scholar and caring professional. She teaches at all levels and has an impressive student evaluation record. She ranks consistently within the top 5 percent of her colleagues in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR). She is innovative in teaching practices and documents her efforts through journal articles and presentations at national meetings. Professor Akers’ contributions to teaching have been recognized through 11 awards from regional and national organizations, in addition to college-wide awards, both for teaching and advising. Her research in agricultural education and communications spans an array of topics, from assessment of agricultural education interventions within and outside the academy to collaborative efforts with animal scientists on the epidemiology of disease outbreaks connected with the public’s contact with animals. If all the above were not enough, Professor Akers serves as director of CASNR’s Student Services Center, which handles all recruitment, retention, and student services efforts for undergraduates within the college’s varied programs. CASNR’s former dean, John Burns, summarizes Akers’ efforts in the student services arena as follows: “She coordinates all the undergraduate recruitment and retention efforts for the college. Her leadership in our student retention programs is the main reason that CASNR has the highest freshmen retention rate of any college at Texas Tech.” Enough said! Except that, we can imagine few other faculty members with a stronger claim to the title, “integrated scholar” – at Texas Tech or anyplace else.

Laura BeardLaura Beard, Spanish

The old expression, “learn another language, live another life,” is certainly true for language/culture/literature integrated scholars such as Laura Beard. In her case, the additional life or lives emerge through the portals of Spanish, Portuguese, and indigenous languages of the Americas.

Professor Beard’s teaching has covered a range of subject areas from Spanish language and women’s studies, to Hispanic and Native American literatures and cultures. Her contributions in teaching have been recognized by membership in the TTU Teaching Academy, along with Texas Tech Alumni Association and President’s Academic Achievement Awards.

In her scholarly work, Professor Beard has been recognized through several significant travel and study fellowships (e.g., Fulbright, National Endowment for the Humanities, Newberry Library) that have resulted in many notable works, including a recent book, Acts of Narrative Resistance: Women’s Autobiographical Writings in the Americas, published in 2009 by the University of Virginia Press in the American Literatures Initiative Series. In this book, which she prefaces with the comment: “Turning lives into stories seems irresistible,” Professor Beard proceeds with, “I am interested in how these authors negotiate the discourses of personal, cultural, ethnic, national, sexual, gender, and, in some cases, indigenous identities in order to inscribe their own stories and their own life experiences.” The book—resulting from more than ten years of study, teaching, and outreach in cultures across the North and South American continents, is a tour de force that captured a TTU President’s Book Award in 2011.

As important as Professor Beard’s teaching, scholarly study, and outreach have been to her integrated scholarship, she also has contributed to her department administratively and at the university level through her work as an officer in the Phi Beta Kappa chapter at TTU, and as a faculty liaison for the Cross Cultural Academic Advancement Center. Outside of the university, she has served as journal editor and has performed editorial review work for noted journals and presses in her fields of interest. All of these efforts have informed the life and works of this prominent integrated scholar.

Dorothy ChanskyDorothy Chansky, Theatre

The theatrical triple threat is one who can sing, dance, and act with aplomb. Professor Chansky, following a seven-year acting career that took her to Broadway, and dinner and children’s theatres in five states (along with contributions to television commercials), chose to pursue an academic career somewhat later in life than others. But, she has caught up fast and has found the combination of excellence in teaching, scholarly works, and outreach that places her among the top integrated scholars at TTU. The evidence: the love that students have for her dedication to the art of teaching, her many scholarly publications (including one that received a TTU President’s Book Award, Composing Ourselves: The Little Theatre Movement and the American Audience in 2006), and her contributions to the theatre locally and nationally.

The comments of students (Privitt, 2009) about Professor Chansky’s contributions are instructive. For example, a recent theatre graduate testified: “She introduced me to a wide variety of scholars and then enabled me to engage and even challenge their ideas. In my opinion, it is not enough for a teacher to be passionate about something; they must be able to make that passion contagious. I think that [she] has the ability to inspire her students to read, to research, and [to] publish in their field.”

One doctoral student stated: “She brings a level of serious professionalism to scholarship . . . She puts us on an academic map. She is indispensible for us, especially if we want to be a top-tier research institute.” A 2007 baccalaureate graduate summed up: “She was great. I loved her class. It was very hard, but it was worth it . . . I left there knowing that I had learned something.” These remarkable student comments reveal the composite story well. The “story” offers the conclusion that Professor Chansky’s integrated scholarship is equivalent to an academic Tony.

Claudia CogliserClaudia Cogliser, Management

In terms of integrated scholarship, Professor Cogliser’s record is outstanding. She teaches at all levels (undergraduate, executive MBA, MBA for working professionals, doctoral) and in myriad settings, from face-to-face to online instruction. Her undergraduate and MBA courses routinely involve service learning with an emphasis on assisting non-profit corporations in their work with needy members of society. In the service learning offerings, she emphasizes a blending of the theoretical and practical, and ensures, through course objectives and other interventions, that students are exposed to cognitive and affective modes of learning. Additionally, Professor Cogliser publishes articles on her pedagogical efforts.

Akin to her teaching efforts, Professor Cogliser’s research blends the theoretical and the practical in the domains of leadership, organizational context, entrepreneurship, and research methods, and can point to specific publications that not only highlight one or more areas of interest, but also illuminate connections among the areas of scholarship.

Professor Cogliser’s service record is as impeccable as those in teaching and research. She has been an active contributor to college and university diversity efforts in assisting the retention of students from underrepresented groups. At the national level, she has made contributions to professional organizations through meeting organizational efforts, the teaching of leadership workshops, and service on editorial boards.

Overall, Professor Cogliser’s case for integrated scholarship is not only supported through her integrative efforts within the realms of teaching, research, and service, but also among these three areas that are often considered independent. Thus, we offer kudos to Professor Cogliser for all she is doing to advance integrated scholarship at Texas Tech.

Lee CohenLee Cohen, Psychology

Professor Cohen, in some ways, is in an enviable position. He not only teaches and does research in clinical psychology, but he also has had the opportunity for six years to coordinate training in a doctoral program that is in high demand. Thus, akin to the best programs in the country, hundreds of applications are received each year for relatively few spots that are filled each fall with some of the best students nationally and internationally. So Professor Cohen has been engaged in helping to shape the development and implementation of a program that adds great value to his department and the university. In 2011 he took on the added responsibility of serving as chair of the Department of Psychology that supports two American Psychological Association (APA) accredited programs (clinical psychology and counseling psychology), another fully accredited (by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society) doctoral program in human factors psychology, broad-based undergraduate and graduate programs, and research in experimental psychology with emphases in applied cognition, human factors, and social psychology.

In the area of teaching, Professor Cohen is a member of the TTU Teaching Academy, received the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2006, and has successfully directed undergraduate research, even though his programmatic assignments have principally been directed at the doctoral level where he receives outstanding commendations from students. He also has contributed in special ways to the clinical programs in psychology. For example, a high official with the APA underlined Professor Cohen’s contributions to the scholarship of teaching and graduate training in clinical psychology as follows: “As the director of clinical training for the APA accredited doctoral program at Texas Tech – a very demanding and central role for all graduate students in that program . . . he was principal investigator on a major grant from the Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS] for the education and training of doctoral students in . . . clinical and counseling psychology . . . This was a very competitive national grant process, and Dr. Cohen’s leadership in teaching and training to prepare a culturally competent workforce to deliver services to underserved groups addresses a significant national need.” Besides his contributions to the DHHS training grant, he has been the recipient of over $1.6 million in grants from a variety of competitive sources, including the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and National Science Foundation. He also has collaborated recently with colleagues in his own department and researchers at the TTU Health Sciences Center on a State of Texas Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) grant involving tobacco use and its influence on the treatment of cancers.

His research on behavioral, cognitive, and psychological corollaries to tobacco use, especially the specific effects of nicotine, has—as his record would indicate—direct implications to health care. One highly respected human behavioral researcher recently commented that Professor Cohen’s research: “Is of the highest quality . . . full of technological and methodological rigor, and replete with important insights that have made an impact in the field.”

Service-wise, and as noted above, his contributions to the training components of the psychology department’s clinical programs, have been truly notable, given the extraordinary accreditation compliance and necessary funding issues involved in these programs nationally. Additionally, he has served in several editorial positions of well-recognized journals and is currently assistant editor for the journal Addiction. Overall, Professor Cohen is a faculty member who brings insight, dedication, and perseverance to his responsibilities in teaching, research, and service, in ways that clearly merit the moniker of integrated scholar.

Jerry DwyerJerry Dwyer, Mathematics

Mathematics proficiency among United States students in grades 6 through 12 is ranked poorly among many developed nations in the world. Enter Professor Dwyer and a host of his colleagues who are trying to repaint this picture. Their efforts are funded by major grants from federal (e.g., National Science Foundation) and private foundations, and enable interventions with children and teachers in middle and high schools. Professor Dwyer has been working with a group of colleagues at Texas Tech and peer universities (as noted below), as well as with teachers in West Texas and beyond. With funding in the millions, their efforts are making a difference, and Professor Dwyer and his collaborators have presented their contributions at conferences and in peer-reviewed literature. On the instruction side, Professor Dwyer teaches math to undergraduate and graduate students at TTU and in grant-funded demonstration projects at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Tennessee. At TTU, more generally, Professor Dwyer is a leader in service learning and outreach. Indeed, beyond the national scene, Professor Dwyer has for several years volunteered during personal summer time periods in projects designed to raise mathematics education in East Africa. Thus, he is an exemplar for bringing together, capabilities in teaching, research, and service, and evolving an integrated whole that is valued by a great number of educators, including the academic community at Texas Tech.

Andrew JacksonAndrew Jackson, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Imagine being tagged “a world expert.” That’s exactly how a number of Professor Jackson’s peers characterize him. Indeed, noted endowed professors at Purdue and Rice universities recently wrote about him: “Dr. Jackson’s major research focus is biological wastewater treatment, and Andrew is a recognized international leader in that field,” and, “[He] is unquestionably a world expert on the transport, fate, and remediation of perchlorate in the environment.” Because of his expertise, Professor Jackson was recently invited to go to Antarctica as a member of a field team of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The field team is part of a research group that focuses on Mars exploration and the search for life on Mars. They used Antarctica as a model for Mars, and since perchlorate has been found on Mars, Professor Jackson was invited to participate on the Antarctica trip.

His grant record, including more than $2.3 million in competitive awards over 13 years, attests to his mastery in the field of environmental engineering. Apparently, his colleagues in the Whitacre College of Engineering also agree, since they have recognized him as a top departmental and college-level researcher on several occasions.

As a teacher, Professor Jackson receives high marks both from undergraduate and graduate students through course evaluations. His success in assisting graduate students in master’s and doctoral programs is also well above the norm. On the service side, Professor Jackson is the academic adviser for all environmental engineering majors, faculty adviser for the student chapter of the Water Environment Federation, and has recently been appointed graduate adviser for the environmental and water resources area of civil engineering. He also is an associate editor of the world-recognized journal Air Water & Soil Pollution. Professor Jackson also has served on the editorial boards of two other respected journals. If these efforts are not enough to inform of his teaching and research, Professor Jackson has unselfishly served as external reviewer for the National Science Foundation’s small business development grant programs. Additionally, he currently is serving on the steering committee for the annual NASA Life Support Conference (i.e., The International Conference on Environmental Systems, or ICES).

Taken together, we consider that his roles as research world expert, notable teacher, and unselfish contributor to his discipline – coupled with his ability to bring such experiences together for the benefits of students, faculty, and staff at TTU – all make a strong case for the integrated scholarship of Professor Andrew Jackson.

Vaughn JamesVaughn James, Law

Former School of Law Interim Dean Susan Fortney succinctly characterized Professor James as “an engaged and engaging professor and scholar who connects his research, service, and teaching.” When you look further, you find that the teaching, research, and service cover a broad swath, beginning in his life with teaching and administrative appointments in the K-12 system in his homeland of Dominica in the West Indies, and extending through assignments at Syracuse University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Illinois University, and of course, Texas Tech. At TTU, Professor James was recognized for his notably effective teaching efforts through a President’s Achievement Award in 2009. In teaching, he is particularly well-known for service learning efforts that have brought, as examples, advice on wills preparation and income tax preparation to needy citizens in the surrounding community.

Professor James’ legal scholarship has focused on issues critical to the Caribbean and developing world. But, it doesn’t stop there. His interest in elder care led to the book The Alzheimer's Advisor: A Caregiver's Guide to Dealing with the Tough Legal and Practical Issues, which was rated by the Library Journal as one of the Top 24 Consumer Health Care Books of 2009.

Service-wise, Professor James gives back to his academic and civic communities in many ways. A talented calypso and reggae musician, as well as recording artist of 30 years, Professor James was awarded the Heritage Legend Award from the University of the West Indies (Dominica Center) in 2007. At Texas Tech, his service contributions include the service learning efforts noted earlier, along with his organizing and conducting the annual School of Law Cricket League.

His range of contributions informs a consciousness that has made Professor James a noteworthy integrated scholar within our academic community and well beyond.

Elizabeth LoudenElizabeth Louden, Architecture

Architectural preservation requires a keen understanding of materials, structures, space, design, the environment, and the characterization thereof – all blended with sensitivities to culture and aesthetics. Professor Louden has been involved in all aspects of architecture and historical preservation, and she is best noted for integrating all these components into her teaching, research, and service efforts at Texas Tech – recognized in part through TTU Research and Teaching Awards in 2002 and 2003, respectively, continuing into 2004 with the College of Architecture nomination for the Barney Rushing Research Excellence award and the college's title of researcher of the year, and in 2006 the student-nominated Professing Excellence Award. Most notably, Professor Louden has brought 3D laser and aural scanning techniques into her teaching and scholarly work, to the benefit of students who will require these leading-edge tools in future practice. Her service and research efforts have included preservation projects across the Texas landscape, the nation, and World Heritage Sites such as the Roman Forum. These preservation efforts provide case material that is brought into the classroom and studios of the College of Architecture, as well as inform future scholarship.

Dr. Louden’s work on historic buildings and integrating them into the classroom has raised awareness about the values of heritage and important construction methods. This integrated approach to learning advances students experiences and gives them an opportunity to fully understand all aspects of architecture and their surrounding environment. Her comprehensive studios provide students with valuable skills they can migrate into their professional pursuits. Over the past decade, Dr. Louden’s grants and contracts have funded student research assistants on nationally significant projects such as the documentation of the Statue of Liberty, while also including students in the study of numerous regional historic ranches. The more local work provides communities with proposals that help to preserve important sites and offers students service learning opportunities to work directly with the public – to literally see the direct effects of their proposals. For example, graduate student preservation work on the Lubbock 1931 Federal Post Office building helped draw statewide attention when the building was listed on the 2011 Texas’ Most Endangered Places list. Professor Louden’s unique abilities to weave teaching, research, and service into all of her academic pursuits make her a fine example of an integrated scholar.

Michael O'BoyleMichael O'Boyle, Human Development & Family Studies

This past spring, Professor O’Boyle was awarded the TTU President’s Academic Achievement Award for excellence in teaching, research, and service. The award recognized his reputation as a creative and exceptionally effective teacher. It also acknowledged contributions to research that have come about, in part, due to the attraction of extramural funding that has totaled more than $5 million during his seven years as a faculty member and administrator (assistant and associate dean, College of Human Sciences and current interim director Texas Tech Neuroimaging Institute) at TTU. The contributions on the Lubbock campus follow a life-long pattern. One recent reviewer noted: “Wherever he has gone, Michael has been a builder, bringing new technology to bear on his research and bringing colleagues into collaboration . . . His research, teaching, and leadership skills are all excellent and well-established across an impressive and continually expanding career.” Couple all he has done in teaching and research with the service components inherent in his administrative posts, and you have the basis for the integration factor that he weaves so well into all that he does. Thus, our hats are off to this very fine integrated scholar for 2011.

Valerie PatonValerie Paton, Higher Education

A colleague was known to say: “If you want a job done well, find a busy person.” The expression fits Professor Paton, because she has accomplished well, not only her administrative assignments, but also the teaching and scholarly work she has performed at TTU. Imagine! She is serving as vice provost for planning and assessment (including supervision of the Office of Planning and Assessment [responsible for university-wide accreditation along with oversight of more than 50 programmatic accreditation efforts across the university], the TTU Ethics Center, the Office of Academic Support and Facilities Resources, and the Office of Institutional Research), interim dean of the University College, and associate professor of higher education. The later assignment involves teaching, and thesis and dissertation direction in higher education graduate programs, including the direction of five students whose doctoral degrees were awarded just in the past three years. Not to overemphasize numbers, Professor Paton’s teaching has been outstanding, and with her academic appointment in higher education, she has brought her administrative expertise to bear on her pedagogy and content – all to the benefit of students. Students also have been engaged in her scholarly research, which has resulted in numerous publications and presentations that have, in turn, offered insight for all that she does in her administrative work. On the university side, Professor Paton has put Texas Tech on the national map of institutions that value outreach in special ways. Indeed, her efforts are primarily responsible for Texas Tech’s membership in an impressive group of peer institutions that will hold a national conference in Lubbock in 2013. Professor Paton is truly a professional whose integrated scholarship adds value to all she does, and all she does benefits a very large and important component of the academic enterprise at Texas Tech.

Carolyn TateCarolyn Tate, Art History

Art embodies the language of the soul. It also reflects history, culture, striving, and strife. For Professor Tate, the art of Mesoamerica has been central to her scholarly life since graduate school when she studied under Linda Schele – one of art history’s great scholars of Mayan art, epigraphy, and history. Today, Professor Tate continues her studies of Mayan art history with expanded emphasis on the art and culture of North American indigenous peoples. And, her noted scholarly accomplishments have provided the framework that reinforces a set of teaching commitments that spans offerings from basic art appreciation courses (for non-majors) and art history surveys, to more specialized courses in Mesoamerican, Maya, and North America art, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her scholarly work was recognized at Texas Tech through the Barney Rushing Research Excellence Award in 2006. Her supervisors praise her teaching, research, and all she does to contribute to the university. At the university level, she has been an active senator in the Faculty Senate during the past few years. In the larger world, she has engaged in curatorial efforts at museums in Toronto, New York, and Houston. So, her acknowledgement as an integrated scholar is well deserved and should be celebrated by our academic community.

Thinking Ahead

Now, for the newly appointed TTU faculty member or one who wishes to proverbially reinvent him or herself, we might ask: “How might I craft a integrated scholarly career path akin to that of a Dorothy Chansky, Claudia Cogliser, or Andrew Jackson?” Here is some free advice from the TTU Office of the Provost:

Summarizing, we have reviewed some defining ideas about integrated scholarship and integrated scholars. We also have offered examples of twelve Texas Tech faculty members who personify integrated scholarship. Finally, some free and useful advice has been offered for organizing one's thinking about integrated scholars. Let us know what you think, either through e-mail or snail mail. If you craft a thought-provoking piece we'll consider it for publication in All Things Texas Tech. Ideas and suggestions are welcome and can be directed to bob.smith@ttu.edu.


Beard, Laura. Acts of Narrative Resistance: Women's Autobiographical Writings in the Americas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press (American Literatures Initiative Series), 2009.

Chansky, Dorothy. Composing Ourselves: The Little Theatre Movement and the American Audience. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2004.

Privitt, Richard. “Dorothy Chansky.” Ampersand (TTU College of Visual & Performing Arts) Fall & Winter (2009): 8-9.

Smith, Bob. “Integrated Scholars: You Will Find Many at Texas Tech.” All Things Texas Tech, 1 (2), September 2009; http://www.depts.ttu.edu/provost/attt/2009/09/integratedscholar.php (May 2, 2011).

Smith, Bob and Katie Allen. “Texas Tech Integrated Scholars 2010.” All Things Texas Tech 2 (2) 2010; http://www.depts.ttu.edu/provost/attt/2010/09/integratedscholars.php (May 2, 2011).

About the Authors

Bob Smith serves as provost and senior vice president at Texas Tech University.

Katie Allen served as senior editor, academic communications in the Office of the Vice President for Research at Texas Tech University during 2010-2011. She is currently employed at the American Angus Association in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Scott Irlbeck is senior producer for the Office of Communications and Marketing at Texas Tech University.

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