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TAMIU Presents Faculty Awards at Fall Convocation Posted: 10/02/19

TAMIU Presents Faculty Awards at Fall Convocation


Dr. John Kilburn
Dr. John Kilburn  

Two members of the Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) faculty were recently recognized for their scholarship and leadership at the University’s Fall Convocation in the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts’ Recital Hall.

The Awards were presented by Dr. Tom Mitchell, TAMIU provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.  The Awards were for the Distinguished University Scholar of the Year Award presented to Dr. John Dean, TAMIU associate professor of English, and the Senator Judith Zaffirini Award for Scholarship and Leadership, awarded to Dr. John Kilburn, TAMIU associate vice president for Research and Sponsored Projects and  sociology professor.

Dr. Dean  is the author of two books, both published by prestigious university presses, and is currently working on his third book.  He is a scholar of the borderlands who navigates the disciplinary borders between literature and history to examine the borderlines of nations, ethnicities, and culture.

Dr. John Dean
Dr. John Dean


His second book, How Myth Became History, published in 2016, has received wide, positive reviews in such journals as the Southwest Historical Quarterly, the Western Historical Quarterly, and Catholic Southwest. One reviewer writes that his examination of "how literature treats historical facts and realities" is "a model that merits imitation." Dean is currently at work on his third book.  It will examine how racial violence along the border has been justified over the ages. 

 Dr. Kilburn is a College of Arts & Sciences faculty member.  As a scholar, he has co-authored one book, 24 peer-reviewed articles, 19 book chapters, and numerous encyclopedia articles and book reviews.  He has also been successful at earning and managing grants for the University and helping  others obtain research funding.  His leadership has been shared with  every important University committee.  Kilburn has chaired a department and presided over the Phi Kappa Phi honor society chapter at TAMIU. 

His record of servant leadership is also deeply integrated in Laredo, his home for the past 17 years.  He has served as Laredo Literacy Volunteers of Laredo president, Laredo Rotary Club as a prestigious Paul Harris Fellow, United Day School as board secretary as well as flag football and basketball coach, Laredo Women's City Club as a “Dancing with the Stars” contestant and in local theatre productions as both actor and singer.  

Previous faculty awards announced this Fall include the ‘Distinguished Teacher Award to Dr. Puneet Gill, assistant professor of Curriculum and Instruction, and the Outstanding Teacher Award to Kimber J. Palmer, instructor in the A. R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business' division of International Banking and Finance.

For additional information, contact the University’s Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, email, click on or visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

Throughout 2019-2020, TAMIU is celebrating its 50th anniversary and its 25th  anniversary at its north Laredo campus.  A dedicated website shares the University’s transformation from a hybrid upper-level university to a full doctoral degree-granting University. It traces the University’s history, shares its impact in personal stories, and includes a calendar of Anniversary events and more at

For additional information, contact the TAMIU Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, email, click on or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

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