Dr. William A. Taylor and Dr. Anthony N. Celso of the Department of Security Studies and Criminal Justice and Dr. Sangeeta Singg of the Department of Psychology and Sociology are the winners of Angelo State University’s 2021 President’s Awards for Faculty Excellence.
They, along with 42 other faculty nominees, were honored at the 12th annual Faculty Recognition Ceremony sponsored May 6 by the ASU Faculty Senate.
Taylor is the award winner for Faculty Excellence in Teaching. Celso received the award for Faculty Excellence in Research/Creative Endeavor. Singg is the award winner for Faculty Excellence in Leadership/Service. Each received $2,500 and Signature Presidential Recognition Awards. Taylor and Celso will also be ASU’s nominees for the Texas Tech University System Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Research.
Taylor, an associate professor of security studies, is a 10-year ASU faculty member and holder of ASU’s Lee Drain Endowed University Professorship. He has a proven track record of teaching excellence, receiving top student ratings for 11 different graduate courses and 10 different undergraduate courses. He has also mentored numerous students as a member of 83 graduate comprehensive exam advisory committees and nine graduate thesis advisory committees. He is solely responsible for developing three segments of ASU’s Global Security Studies curriculum: Civil-Military Relations, Security Issues in Africa and World Cultures, including four new courses. His World Cultures course is so popular that it now enrolls about 375 students each semester, and he has expanded that course into a complete Minor in World Cultures available to all ASU students. Taylor has also made meaningful connections between participation in his discipline and teaching. He spearheaded ASU’s hosting of the 2019 All-Volunteer Force Forum, engaging his students throughout the process, and now uses videos from that forum to benefit his current and future students. His teaching also reaches outside of ASU. He has given numerous keynote addresses on lifelong learning to various student organizations, and the second of his four books, “Military Service and American Democracy,” is required reading for every first-year cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He also won ASU’s 2019 President’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Research/Creative Endeavor.
Celso, a professor of security studies, joined the ASU faculty in 2011 and has since established himself nationally and internationally as an expert in his field. His extensive research activities have led to the publication of two books, “The Islamic State: A Comparative Study of Jihadist Warfare” and “The Crisis of the African State in the 21st Century: Globalization, Tribalism and Jihadism Unbound.” He has also published three other book chapters, along with 14 research articles in peer-reviewed journals, in the last five years alone. Journals he has contributed to include Terrorism & Political Violence, Journal of Intelligence, Conflict and Warfare, Journal of International Political Science, and Journal of Political Science and Public Affairs. He has also contributed chapters to such books as “Handbook of Political Islam” and “Online Terrorist Propaganda, Recruitment and Radicalization.” He was recently awarded a significant grant from the Smith Richardson Foundation to finance research for a new book titled “Rogue Allies: The Strategic Partnership Between Iran and North Korea” – a joint project with fellow ASU faculty member, Dr. Bruce Bechtol. Through his many publications, Celso’s expertise and scholarship reaches national and international audiences and shapes the discourse among both academics and practitioners. Due to his knowledge of world terrorism issues, he has also been widely sought as an expert source by local, national and international news media. He has been a semi-finalist for the ASU President’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Research/Creative Endeavor on several other occasions.
Singg, a professor of psychology, has been an ASU faculty member since 1981 and has a long history of service to the university, the community and her profession. She has served on numerous university committees, most recently as a member of ASU’s Suicide Response Team, and she assisted ASU Counseling Services in implementing new protocols for sensitively and effectively helping the university deal with any aftermath of a traumatic event, natural disaster or death on campus. She has also volunteered on several occasions to teach extra courses to avoid student overload on other faculty in her department. In the community, she has served on the boards of MHMR of the Concho Valley, the American Heart Association and the original San Angelo AIDs Foundation. She also supports Meals for the Elderly, Mosaic and the Children’s Miracle Network at Shannon Medical Center. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Singg provided training seminars to local psychologists on counseling during the pandemic, and she worked with one of her students to develop a treatment protocol for the elderly affected by COVID-19. For her profession, Singg was recently appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott to the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, where she will help oversee and regulate the practice of psychology in the state of Texas. Prior to that appointment, she served as president of the Psychological Association of Greater West Texas (PAGWT) for 11 years. She has also won many other awards for her service from the PAGWT, Three Rivers Counseling Association and ASU Alumni Association, among others.
In addition to the overall winners, four semifinalists in each category received a $500 award. For Excellence in Teaching, the other semifinalists were Kenna R. Archer, assistant professor of history; Kevin G. Garrison, professor of English; Gayle L. Randall, senior instructor in management and marketing; and Sonja Varbelow, assistant professor of teacher education.
For Excellence in Research/Creative Endeavor, the other semifinalists were Lee T. Akins, assistant professor of physical therapy; Michael J. Conklin, assistant professor of business law; JongHwa Lee, associate professor of communication; and Marva J. Solomon, associate professor of teacher education.
For Excellence in Leadership/Service, the other semifinalists were Laura J. Dickmeyer, assistant professor of history; Eddie F. Holik III, associate professor of physics; S. Murat Kara, professor of economics; and Christine L. Purkiss, professor of teacher education.
Other nominees in the Excellence in Teaching category were Charles C. Allen, professor of physics; David L. Bixler, professor of physics; Anica Cisneroz, instructor in curriculum and instruction; Edwar E. Escalante, instructor in economics; You-jou Hung, professor of physical therapy; Codi B. Jaynes, instructor in mathematics; Nicole M. Lozano, assistant professor of psychology; Charles A. Pier, associate professor of accounting; and Veronica D. Snow, associate professor of kinesiology.
Other nominees in the Excellence in Research/Creative Endeavor category were Timothy Bonenfant, professor of music; Kenneth W. Carrell, assistant professor of physics; Drew A. Curtis, associate professor of psychology; Bryan P. Cutsinger, assistant professor of economics; Kinsey O. Hansen, assistant professor of education; Biqing Huang, associate professor of finance; Jamal G. Husein, professor of economics; Raj Kamalapur, associate professor of management; Stephen L.P. Lippi, assistant professor of psychology; Laurence E. Musgrove, professor of English; Adam G. Parker, associate professor of kinesiology; Simon D. Pfeil, assistant professor of mathematics; and Juehui Shi, assistant professor of management.
In the Excellence in Leadership/Service category, the other nominees were Bryan P. Cutsinger, assistant professor of economics; Brook R. Dickison, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction; Larrimore Hettick II, instructor in management; Teresa L. Huckaby, associate clinical professor of physical therapy; Mellisa N. Huffman, assistant professor of English; T. Wayne Humphrey, instructor in mathematics; Eduardo V. Martinez, senior instructor in intelligence, security studies and analysis; and Warren K. Simpson, professor of kinesiology.