Political Science lecturer earns Sun Belt Conference Faculty Member of the Year Award
Texas State student-athletes voted Political Science lecturer Amy Perry as Texas State Sun Belt Professor of the Year.
Perry's students nominated her for the excellent educational characteristics she exhibits, as well as the support she provides her students outside of the classroom.
The favorite professor of the year award was handed out to one professor from each Sun Belt institution this year for the first time in conference history.
When you look at the work of Perry, it becomes painstakingly obvious why her students felt she deserved to be Texas State's first faculty member of the year. First and foremost is her dedication to her students' education.
As a Political Science Lecturer, she knows that some of the topics she teaches can be difficult to comprehend for some students but with her "no student left behind" mentality she is determined to help every one of her students reach a full understanding of the material. The key Perry says is connecting with her students on a personal level, which she does by being honest and accessible to her students and passionate about the subjects she teaches.
Perry believes honesty in the classroom is essential toward earning the respect of her students.
"I don't run my classroom like I know everything," Perry said. "Sometimes when my students ask me a question I don't know, I'm honest and tell them I don't know, but I will get back with them."
Accessibility to her students is Perry's next key to making a personal connection with her students. She acknowledges that her students, especially student-athletes, have extremely busy schedules. She must make herself available to her students on their schedule and not her own.
"She really cares about her students and getting a good education," said Micah Dinwiddie a former student of Perry and Senior volleyball player. "I had a great experience of being in her classroom."
Perry hopes that her passion for the subject she teaches ultimately influences her students to also be enthusiastic about politics. Her passion for politics stems back as far as she can remember.
"In all honesty, I've always been passionate about politics," Perry said. "I remember being five years old watching ABC World News Tonight without my parents."
Perry said that some of her teaching methods were inspired by Dr. Laurie Fluker, whom Perry found immense appreciation and respect for in her time earning both a bachelor of science and master of science in politics at Texas State University.
"I was in a class of 300 students and she(Dr. Fluker) knew all of us," Perry said. "She influenced the way I teach and the care that I bring into the classroom."
Perry feels that if she loses the ability to relate to her students, she has lost something very vital.
Aside from teaching her political science classes, Perry volunteers as a tutor at the Athletic Academic Center, advises incoming freshman through the PACE program, is an active member of the Bobcat Club and regularly attends all Texas State athletic events. A lot of responsibility, sure, but Perry believes these are the things that make her able to best serve her students.
"If I can play any role in helping my students become successful, that's rewarding enough for me," said Perry.
Perry wants to be the type of educator who is willing to fight for her student's success. She recognizes that student-athletes are sometimes labeled with unfair generalizations by students, fans and even educators. She wants educators to make it a point to give the same opportunity to succeed to all of their students.
In the upcoming year, Perry hopes to do presentations on topics like Relating to Student-athletes in Academics" and Recognizing Implicit Bias in Advising. She feels that educators and advisors alike must put aside stereotypes about students whether they are athletes or not.
Ask any of Perry's former students and they will quickly tell you that her passion for her students does not stop at the walls of her classroom.
"Amy Perry is by far my favorite professor I've had at Texas State," said Micah Dinwiddie. "Being an athlete too, she would always go the extra step and coming to our home games and supporting us."
Perry in her own words "Bleeds maroon and gold" and supports her bobcats in every facet of their lives, although she admits Texas State athletic events are by far her favorite. Simply put "Bobcats show up."