Texas Tech University

Human Sciences Faculty Elected to Prestigious Teaching Academy

Ashley Brister

May 18, 2022

Human Sciences Teaching Academy Members 2022-2023

4 faculty members in the College of Human Sciences were elected for membership in the Texas Tech University Teaching Academy

Four faculty members in the College of Human Sciences have been elected for membership in the Texas Tech University Teaching Academy. The Teaching Academy has been limited to no more than 20% of the Texas Tech faculty since its inception in 1997. These faculty are applauded for their demonstrated dedication to excellence in teaching and their efforts to further the development of the scholarship of teaching and learning. 

The Teaching Academy is more than an honor society. Besides electing new members, the academy is involved in the selection of the Departmental Excellence in Teaching Award winner and provides numerous seminars on teaching effectiveness. The Teaching Academy annually hosts the John M. Burns Conference on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, which coincides with the induction ceremony for new members. Many new members join one of the Teaching Academy committees and are active participants in workshops and seminars throughout the year. For departments, teaching academy members serve as leaders in their academic units as part of the teaching academy's new initiative on Evaluation of Teaching.  

New members will be honored at the New Member Induction Ceremony, which will be held early in the fall semester of 2022. 

2022 - 2023 New Teaching Academy Members 

Holli Booe | Nutritional Sciences

Hollie Booe TTU Teaching Academy
Holli Booe, MS, RDN, LD

Director of Didactic Program in Dietetics, Holli Booe, has been a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for over 15 years. She has worked as a clinical dietitian, community dietitian, as well as outpatient dietitian specializing in renal, cardiac, pediatric, weight management, and wellness. Booe has been recognized as an Outstanding Preceptor for dietetic interns in Lubbock and frequently speaks to public schools in the Lubbock Independent School District regarding nutrition and lifelong healthy eating. Through partnering with Lubbock I.S.D. and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program as a part of a grant with the state of Texas, Booe has the opportunity to teach at-risk, low-income students about the health benefits of fruits and vegetables while they have the opportunity to experience the produce for themselves. Prior to joining the faculty at Texas Tech, Booe served as the Director of Dietitians for Wellness Today in Lubbock. 

Vijay Hegde | Nutritional Sciences

Vijay TTU Teaching Academy
Vijay Hegde, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor Vijay Hegde's primary research interests are to discover effective strategies to prevent or treat obesity and its related comorbidities. His research is specifically focused on the E4orf1 protein of human adenovirus type 36 (Ad36). Additional research interests are to understand the higher risk associated with many forms of cancer among people with diabetes and/or obesity. Eight years ago, Hegde began studying the connection between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. When he began as an assistant professor in Texas Tech University's Department of Nutritional Sciences, Hegde's focus was a natural progression of the work that brought him there. But his research took a dramatically personal turn after his own father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Now, three years after his father's death, Hegde is more determined than ever to find a treatment for Alzheimer's disease and help families like his.

Michelle Pearson | Department of Design

Michelle Pearson TTU Teaching Academy
Michelle Pearson, Ph.D.

Michelle Pearson is the Associate Chair, Interior Design Program Director, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Design. She earned her master's degree in Environmental Design and Ph.D. in Interior Environmental Design from Texas Tech University. Pearson's research interests focus on designing for health and wellness, specifically for children. Some of her current research projects include the role of positive distractions in pediatric healthcare spaces, an examination of virtual classroom environments for children with autism, and the design and research of a Malawian Early Childhood Development Center. The Malawian Early Childhood Development Center is a multidisciplinary project with members from various disciplines, including interior design, architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, and human development family studies. Her work was selected for the 2015 Outstanding Graduate Research Award for the work she completed for her dissertation. Pearson recently co-authored a book titled “Designing for Autism Spectrum Disorders.” Finally, she is a member of several professional organizations and serves as the Student Design Competition Coordinator for the Interior Design Educators Council Southwest Region.

Shera Thomas-Jackson | Human Development and Family Sciences

Shera Thomas-Jackson TTU Teaching Academy
Shera Thomas-Jackson, Ph.D., IBCLC

Thomas-Jackson's expertise and research focuses on the breastfeeding relationships between mothers and their infants and how that relationship is affected by various psychosocial and physiological factors. Her previous work has focused on maternal self-efficacy, depression, and anxiety in examining breastfeeding and infant biosocial outcomes. As a lactation counselor, she has worked closely with women helping to establish and maintain the breastfeeding relationship. In researching maternal psychosocial factors, Thomas-Jackson began to explore factors that directly impact breastfeeding self-efficacy, which led to her work on human breast milk with a preterm infant. Thomas-Jackson is examining the calorie and lipid count of human milk and their relationship to premature infant outcomes. Currently, she is working with colleagues in South Africa to survey women about breastfeeding beliefs, behaviors, and barriers. The team is specifically measuring depression, state anxiety, breastfeeding self-efficacy, as well as food security, and nutritional intake. Another area of research interest for Thomas-Jackson is student engagement. She is interested in student involvement in extracurricular activities such as student organizations, engaging in undergraduate research, and other enrichment activities.