“At SFA, excellence in teaching is at the core of our mission. These honorees represent not only themselves but also many others who are the best in education,” said Dr. Steve Bullard, SFA provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Our mission at SFA is to engage students in a learner-centered environment. This year’s honorees are exemplars of this mission in action.”
The Teaching Excellence Awards were established in 1994 to honor outstanding classroom teachers at SFA. Each of the university’s six colleges selects a faculty member to receive the annual award based on knowledge of subject matter, quality of lectures and assignments, enthusiasm for teaching, interest in and availability to students, commitment to continuous improvement, and contribution to the quality of teaching at SFA by assisting and encouraging other faculty members. The 2017 recipients are as follows:
Rusche College of Business
Dr. Kyle Jones, associate professor of finance, joined the Rusche College of Business faculty in 2000. He earned his doctoral degree in finance from the University of Mississippi, and his Master of Science in business administration and bachelor’s degree in computer science from Georgia Southwestern College.
Jones serves as a faculty advisor for the nationally recognized and award-winning Mast Student Investment Roundtable and holds the Certified Financial Analyst designation. His teaching and research interests include international finance, corporate and managerial finance, and risk management.
James I. Perkins College of Education
Dr. Christina Sinclair, interim associate dean for assessment and accountability for the College of Education and associate professor, joined SFA’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Science moving from the University of Northern Colorado, where she worked for 12 years. Sinclair received tenure in 2006.
Sinclair graduated with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Texas at San Antonio, a master’s degree in education from Sul Ross State University and a doctoral degree in physical education with a minor in educational psychology from the University of New Mexico.
Sinclair’s areas of interest include participation in physical activity, especially through quality kindergarten through 12th grade physical education, and increasing children’s intrinsically motivated free-time physical activity. She helps teachers, as well as SFA students, learn about creating accessible climates in physical activity settings, alternative curriculum, instructional models and assessment.
College of Fine Arts
In 1995, Dr. David A. Lewis, professor of art history in SFA’s School of Art, joined the SFA faculty after previously teaching modern art at the University of Georgia and Hamilton College. He graduated cum laude from the University of Southern Indiana with a bachelor’s degree in art and philosophy. He earned his Master of Arts and doctoral degree in art history from Indiana University.
Lewis’ responsibilities on campus include mentoring students as art editor for the SFASU Press. He served as director of the School of Art. He also oversaw the development of an off-campus gallery, which is now the Ed and Gwen Cole Art Center, and co-founded LaNana Creek Press as editor.
Lewis’ contributions to the university include expanding the art and photographic history curriculum, promoting a course in professional practices and establishing a graduate certificate program in museum studies. Additionally, Lewis initiated SFA’s School of Art’s exchange program with Libera Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy, and he has organized more than 30 exhibitions.
Among his notable publications are studies of American artists Rico Lebrun, Corinne Michael West and John Heliker. Lewis is an authority on the work of photographer Frank Dituri. Some of Lewis’ articles have been translated into Italian, Russian and Spanish.
Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture
Dr. Joey Bray, chair of the Department of Agriculture and associate professor, joined SFA’s Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture in 2002. He also serves as director of poultry science, which includes SFA’s Broiler Research Center and Poultry Research Center.
Bray received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in agriculture from SFA and his doctoral degree in poultry management from Texas A&M University. He teaches numerous undergraduate and graduate poultry science courses and introductory livestock anatomy and physiology for the animal science curriculum at SFA.
His research focuses on poultry management practices such as nutritional feed additives, poultry health, poultry lighting, poultry husbandry and welfare, and the environmental impacts of commercial poultry production.
College of Liberal and Applied Arts
Dr. Jessie Sams, associate professor of linguistics in the Department of English and Creative Writing, joined the SFA faculty in 2009. She earned her Bachelor of Science in English from Truman State University and both her Master of Arts and doctoral degree in linguistics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Her primary teaching and research interests include English grammar, history of the English language and invented languages.
College of Sciences and Mathematics
In 2008, Dr. Joe Musser, associate professor, joined the faculty of SFA’s Department of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy. Musser received a Bachelor of Science in education from West Texas State University in 1988 and his doctoral degree in physics from Texas A&M University in 2006.
Prior to joining the SFA faculty, Musser taught calculus, physics and physical science at Caprock High School in Amarillo.
In 2011, the Optical Society honored Musser, and in 2012, he was awarded the Patent and Innovation Award from Texas A&M University System’s Office of Technology Commercialization. He was elected to serve on the executive board of the Texas Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers in 2010.
His research interests include environmental sensing, natural photonic structures, quantum optics and physics pedagogy.
Marie Kelly is a lecturer in the Schlief School of Accountancy in the Rusche College of Business. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration and master’s degree from SFA.
As a Texas teacher certified in mathematics and business, Kelly taught at Douglass ISD for 13 years. She also is a Certified Public Accountant and holds the Chartered Global Management Accountant certification. Prior to joining SFA in 1987, Kelly worked in public accounting and in private industry.
Her teaching and research interests include financial and managerial accounting, accounting ethics and learning techniques among undergraduate accounting students. She is active in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Texas Society of CPAs and the East Texas Chapter of CPAs. She also received TSCPA’s Outstanding Accounting Educator Award in 2015.