Posted: 9/08/11

TAMIU Faculty Scholars Recognized at Fall Convocation



Two Texas A&M International University faculty members were recognized for their teaching excellence, leadership and scholarship at last week’s Fall Convocation.

Dr. Bernice Sánchez-Pérez was named TAMIU Teacher of the Year and addressed TAMIU freshmen at the Convocation.  Dr. Deborah Blackwell was named the recipient of the Dr. Judith Zaffirini Medal for Leadership and Scholarship.

Both were congratulated by provost Pablo Arenaz and president Ray Keck at the ceremony attended by members of the incoming TAMIU freshman class of over 700 students.

Dr. Sánchez-Pérez is a Laredo native with over 15 years of teaching experience in primary, secondary and university settings.  She graduated with a BA in English from Texas Woman’s University. She began her professional career as a language arts teacher in the Dallas Independent School District.  Her passion for learning led her back to the classroom to earn a master’s degree in English literature while continuing her work in teaching bilingual reading to fourth graders.

She returned to Laredo in 2004 and has worked collaboratively for TAMIU’s colleges of Arts and Sciences and Education.   In 2009 she earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M University. She now serves as an assistant professor and director of the South Texas Writing Project. She has been awarded additional Teaching Excellence Awards in 2010 and 2011 from The Texas A&M University System.

Dr. Deborah L. Blackwell has been part of the TAMIU faculty for 12 years.  She received her Bachelor's degree in History and Government from the College of William and Mary in Virginia; her Master's degree in History from North Carolina State University and her Ph.D. in History from the University of Kentucky.  An associate professor of History at TAMIU, she is the founding director of the University Honors Program. 

She has served as faculty director of the Humanities Texas Institute for Social Studies Teachers; been elected to Leadership Texas and served as president of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and vice president of the Faculty Senate.  Her research primarily focuses on late 19th and early 20th Century southern Appalachian history and gender issues.

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