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May 2007

Release Date: May 7, 2007

Smith Earns ASU Teaching Excellence Award

Dr. Trey Smith, a member of Angelo State University’s mathematics faculty since 1992, has been named recipient of the university’s 2007 Teaching Excellence Award.

He and award finalists Dr. Gloria A. Duarte of English and Dr. Carolyn R. Mason of physical therapy were recognized at spring semester’s end during the general faculty meeting of ASU’s Faculty Senate.

Each honoree received a plaque with the award recipient receiving a $1,200 honorarium and the finalists earning $700 checks. All three will be recognized during spring commencement ceremonies May 12 in the Junell Center/Stephens Arena.

Smith was recognized not only for his mathematics skill and knowledge, but also for “his enthusiastic demeanor, dedication to students, encouragement of student involvement and participation in community programs.” As one former student wrote, Smith “has a love for teaching, and he desires for his students to have a love for learning.”

A Southern California native with a fascination for snakes, lizards and birds, Smith received a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in math from ASU. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of North Texas in 1999.

Outside the classroom, Smith plays classical guitar, rides a unicycle and writes plays. In 2005 ASU’s University Theatre produced Smith’s “Uncommon Threads,” three one-act plays that explored the similarities between human and mathematical relationships. This summer two more of his one-act plays will be produced as part of the Arts at ASU program. He and his wife, Laura, have three sons.

English professor Duarte was honored for “long-term dedication” to ASU students. One faculty member described her as “a master teacher who values her students and takes her teaching responsibilities very seriously.” One undergraduate noted that “Dr. Duarte consistently modeled the level of professionalism and effectiveness that is an inspiration to me as a future educator.”

Born and raised in Fort McKavett, Duarte earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Southwest Texas State University, her master’s degree at ASU and her Ph.D. from Texas Tech University. She joined the ASU English Department in 1977. Duarte directed the university’s student exchange programs with Torreón and Chihuahua, Mexico, for several years.

Her research interests include Fort McKavett, Mexican-American culture and literature. She enjoys shopping, listening to music, painting, and spending time with her daughter Alexis and granddaughter Serena.

Mason was acknowledged for “always going the extra mile” to ensure the success of ASU’s Physical Therapy Department, the youngest academic department on campus. In addition to carrying a heavy course load and research program, she was called “a popular teacher amongst the students as evidenced by her outstanding course evaluation scores.”

An assistant professor of physical therapy, Mason joined the ASU faculty in 2003. She holds her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy and her Ph.D. in neuroscience from Northwestern University. She also earned a master’s degree with an emphasis in applied neuroscience from Emory University.

She has worked in the brain injury unit of Houston’s Institute for Rehabilitation and Research and has taught at Texas Woman’s University in Houston. She was a National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Minnesota. At ASU she teaches neuroscience and neurorehabilitation with an emphasis on experiential learning.

ASU’s Teaching Excellence Award is presented annually to recognize and encourage teaching excellence. While research, publication, administration or related activities may be acknowledged in the award, the primary focus is on classroom teaching excellence. All faculty who have held a full-time appointment on the ASU faculty for three or more academic years are eligible for nomination.

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