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Higher Education
Board of Regents Recognizes Outstanding Teachers, Staff with Regents’ Awards
News Release
Friday, February 16, 2018

BEAUMONT – The Board of Regents of the Texas State University System today recognized two Texas State University educators and a longtime Lamar University employee for outstanding performance and commitment to the mission of their institutions.

The board recognized Dr. Debra Feakes, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Dr. David Nolan, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, as 2017 Regents’ Teachers. Feakes and Nolan were selected from a field of candidates nominated by the presidents of TSUS member institutions.

Dr. Feakes has taught more than 15 courses at Texas State, some of which she developed, and has developed a version of the University Seminar course for Chemistry majors. She has also developed supplemental instruction material for introductory chemistry courses, which has improved student success and retention at the university. Dr. Feakes has won numerous teaching awards and received praise from her peers and students for her openness, friendly demeanor and fairness.

Dr. Nolan came to Texas State in 2003 following a 24-year career as a photojournalist in the U.S. Air Force. He has taught photojournalism, mass communication, media design and many other courses, both face-to-face and online. He was nominated for his first teaching award in 2004, only a year after he arrived at Texas State, and has won numerous other awards in the years since. He is widely regarded as a thoughtful and caring educator who has mentored dozens of his students.

The Board of Regents also recognized Ms. Delores Black, an administrative associate senior at Lamar University, with the Regents’ Staff Excellence Award. Ms. Black has been a member of the Lamar University staff for more than 43 years and currently works in the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Lamar University.

Ms. Black has been actively involved in civic and artistic causes in the Beaumont community, including the Symphony of Southeast Texas Chorus, Beaumont Interfaith Choral Society, Beaumont Civic Opera and Beaumont Community Players. She was selected from a field of exceptional staff members nominated by the presidents of TSUS member institutions.

The award recipients were recognized at the Board of Regents’ quarterly meeting on the campus of Lamar University. All winners received a $3,000 award, a Board-approved resolution and a commemorative medallion.

About the Texas State University System

The Texas State University System, founded in 1911, is the first higher education system established in Texas. Beginning as an administrative means to consolidate the support and management of state teacher colleges, the System has evolved into a network of higher education institutions stretching from the Texas–Louisiana border to the Big Bend region of west Texas. The System supports eight institutions by providing centralized services including legal counsel, accounting, audit, academic program planning, contract administration, government relations and communications services.

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