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TSUS Foundation names 5 from Texas State as 2019 Regents' Award recipients

Inside TXST

Texas State University | September 3, 2019

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The Texas State University System Foundation has named five Texas State University representatives recipients of the 2019 Regents’ Awards.

The Regents Awards recognize outstanding faculty, staff and students from the seven TSUS member institutions. William Brittain, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was named Regents' Professor, Cynthia Gonzales, School of Music, and Mayumi Moriuchi, Department of World Languages and Literatures, received the Regents' Teacher Award, Carol Dochen, director of the Student Learning Assistance Center (SLAC), received the Regents' Staff Excellence Award and Heather Martin, senior psychology major, received the Regents' Student Scholar Award.  

The board approved the honors during its quarterly meeting Aug. 23 in Alpine.

The Regents’ Professor designation honors outstanding members of the System’s professoriate who have achieved excellence in teaching, research and publication, and community service, while demonstrating an unwavering dedication to their students and university. Brittain is the 16th TSUS Regents’ Professor to be honored at Texas State.

It is a lifetime designation bestowed by the Board of Regents upon tenured full professors who have been acknowledged as exceptional by their peers and students, and recommended by the TSUS Foundation Board of Directors, the chancellor, and their university president.

Brittain, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry for the past nine years, came to Texas State after building a career in higher education and industry. He is an internationally acclaimed researcher who has pioneered research on polymers, been issued three patents and is responsible for more than $5.5 million in grants to the university. He has co-authored a book and published 123 peer-reviewed articles, making him the seventh most-cited author at Texas State. 

Brittain has presented 71 conference proceedings, given more than 200 invited lectures and published 93 American Chemical Society national meeting abstracts. He has received the GenCorp Signature Research Award, the Distinguished Service Award and been named a fellow of the ACS Division of Polymer Chemistry.   

The Board of Regents annually recognizes exceptional teachers from TSUS member institutions with the Regents' Teacher Award. Regents' Teachers are selected based on their outstanding performance as educators, contributions to the development of courses and use of innovative teaching methods, among other criteria. Winners maintain the title of "Regents' Teacher" for the duration of their service within TSUS. Gonzales and Moriuchi are the third and fourth recipients from Texas State. 

Gonzales, an associate professor of music, is a nationally recognized instructor of music theory and aural skills. She founded the Center for Aural and Theory Tutoring, which has developed into an integral component of the learning culture within the School of Music. To prepare first-year music majors for the theory placement exam, she authored a music fundamentals textbook within the learning management site. As a result, 82 percent of incoming students start with degree-required courses rather than a remedial course, reversing a long-standing norm. 

Gonzales was nominated for the 2019 Grammy Music Educator Award, was cited for innovative teaching at the 2017 National Association of Schools of Music, received the Distinction in Teaching Award at Harvard College and has received Texas State's Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. 

Moriuchi, a senior lecturer of Japanese and coordinator of the Japanese program in the Department of World Languages and Literatures, has overseen the growth and development of the Japanese minor from fewer than 10 students to more than 80, adding six advanced courses. In 2006, she established the summer education abroad program in Nagoya, Japan, and serves as the faculty consultant responsible for selecting students for exchange programs with three Japanese universities in Osaka and Tokyo.

Moriuchi been recognized with Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Faculty Award for Outstanding Achievement in International Education, given each year to a single faculty member at Texas State on behalf of the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors: Association of International Educators. 

Dochen is the second Regents' Staff Excellence recipient from Texas State. The Chancellor of the Texas State University System annually selects an exceptional staff member from one member institution to receive the Regents' Staff Excellence Award. The award recognizes staff who excel in six areas: commitment to the university and its mission; job competency; collegiality; duration of service; community involvement; and exceptional achievement. 

Dochen has served as the director of the SLAC since 1987 and has vast experience in mentoring and providing students with tools they need to be successful. Dochen's latest venture is a targeted academic support and tutoring program serving student veterans and their families attending Texas State. She and her staff had been recognized with the Texas State University Foster Care Advocate Award (2018), College Academic Support Programs Lifetime Achievement Award (2013) and the Best Institute Award from College Academic Support Programs of Texas (1997, 2010 and 2011). 

Martin, the fourth Regents’ Scholar at Texas State, is a senior from Midlothian. Regents’ Scholars are selected by the chancellor based on outstanding academic achievement and scholarship, leadership abilities, and contributions to the institution and their community. In addition to a framed resolution and medallion, Regents’ Scholars receive $2,500 credited toward their educational expenses.

Martin has a cumulative grade point average of 4.0, has earned Dean's List recognition for three consecutive semesters and has received several prestigious awards and scholarships, including the Academic Achievement Scholarship and the Liberal Arts Award for Academic Excellence. 

In addition to her academic pursuits, Martin serves as goalkeeper for the Texas State women's soccer team, where she was named to the 2017 All-Sun Belt Conference First Team, 2017 Texas State Defensive MVP and 2017 Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week three times. She is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and her volunteer activities include the San Marcos Youth Soccer Association, Goal2Cure and Relay for Life.

Regents' Professor and Regents' Student Scholar Award recipients will be formally recognized during the Nov. 15 Board of Regents meeting at Sam Houston State University. Regents' Teacher and Regents' Staff Excellence Award recipients will be recognized during the Feb. 14, 2020, meeting at Texas State University.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922