Release Date: May 1, 2007
ASU’s Maxwell Named Piper Distinguished Professor
Angelo State University biology Professor Terry C. Maxwell has been named a Piper Distinguished Professor for 2007 by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the teaching profession.
Dr. Maxwell, who joined the ASU faculty in 1976, becomes the ninth Angelo State faculty member honored with the prestigious statewide award. In addition to being one of the top statewide honors for professors in higher education, the designation carries with it a $5,000 honorarium.
ASU President James Hindman said the award is especially prestigious because nominees from all accredited colleges and universities in the state are considered for the recognition. Fifteen faculty members statewide were designated Piper professors for 2007.
Hindman said Maxwell is the epitome of teaching excellence not only because of his educational commitment to his students but also to the public in general through his nature column “Naturally Texas,” published Sundays in the San Angelo Standard-Times. With the column, Maxwell has assumed the mantle of a public educator by providing consistently entertaining and educational writings and original artwork on various biological topics and issues of interest to residents of the Concho Valley.
“Dr. Maxwell has been recognized with numerous teaching awards at ASU,” Hindman said, “and it is gratifying to see that his classroom excellence has now been honored statewide.”
Maxwell received the university’s 2006 Teaching Excellence Award. The ASU Alumni Association honored him in 2004 as the Distinguished Science Faculty Member. ASU students voted him the Outstanding Science Faculty Member in 2002 and 2004.
An ornithologist and curator of the birds for ASU’s Natural History Collection, Maxwell is known both for his unique teaching style that mixes a relaxed lecture approach with rigorous expectations from his students and for giving students every opportunity to take the most possible from his courses.
In 1998 he received the Robert L. Packard Outstanding Educator Award from the Southwestern Association of Naturalists. In 2006 both he and his wife, Ann, were elected honorary members of the Texas Society of Mammalogists.
During his career, his curiosity and research interests have taken him on bird and mammal field investigations to Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, Belize, Peru, Ecuador and its Galapagos Islands, Bolivia and Guiana. Those field studies were variously funded by the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences, Smithsonian Institution, Louisiana State University Museum of Zoology, Texas Cooperative Wildlife Collections of Texas A&M, Royal Ontario Museum and ASU. He also led a field team in the Tundra Bird Project on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
Maxwell holds his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from Texas A&M University and his master’s degree from ASU.
Angelo State University’s previous Piper recipients and their fields are Dr. Sudhir K. Chawla, management, 2000; Dr. Otto W. Tetzlaff, German, 1991; Dr. Charles A. Endress, history, 1986; Duane O. Eberhardt, economics, 1979; Dr. Verna Mae Crutchfield, education, 1971; Dr. Billy Mac Jones, history, 1967; and Dr. Lewis E. Fraser, modern languages, 1959.
The Piper Foundation established the honor in 1958. Since then, professors at more than 100 state institutions of higher learning have been honored.
Nominations for the awards are requested annually by the Piper Foundation from all accredited institutions of higher learning in Texas. An impartial selection committee from the academic community carefully reviews each nomination to choose those professors to be honored. In the deliberations, the committee tries to seek out the well-rounded, outgoing teacher, who is devoted to the profession and has had an impact on students and the community.