Two faculty members will be honored during the 23rd Annual Stephen F. Austin State University Gala on Saturday, Dec. 10, in the Grand Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center.
The faculty achievement awards presented during the ceremony recognize innovation and excellence in teaching and research. Dr. Theresa Coble is the recipient of the 2011 Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching, and Dr. David Lawson is the recipient of the Faculty Achievement Award for Research.
Coble is an associate professor of forest recreation and interpretation in the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture where she led the development of the first-ever online Master of Science in Resource Interpretation program in partnership with the National Park Service. Since it began in 2003, SFA's MSRI program has enrolled students from 40 states and Washington, D.C., including front-line interpreters, supervisory park rangers, and chiefs and deputy chiefs of interpretation at various NPS sites.
In 2010, Coble served as a Fulbright Scholar in the Graduate Institute of Environmental Education at National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei. She has conducted research and evaluation studies in more than 25 national parks and currently serves as treasurer for the National Association for Interpretation in Fort Collins, Colo.
"Dr. Coble is a very dedicated and resourceful teacher," said Dr. Steven Bullard, dean of the college. "Her passion for teaching is strongly reflected in her success with distance education at SFA. She is well-read and offers advice and direction in teaching based on a broad knowledge of the pedagogy of her teaching field."
Coble earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Concordia College and both a Master of Arts in Chinese and a Ph.D. in Forest Resources from the University of Minnesota.
Lawson is a professor in the master's program in clinical mental health counseling and the Ph.D. program in school psychology in SFA's Department of Human Services. He teaches courses in theories of counseling, child and adolescent therapy, and family therapy, as well as practica at the master and doctoral levels.
A licensed marriage and family therapist, psychologist, and counselor, Lawson is a past recipient of the Research in Counselor Education and Supervision Award presented by the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision and a fellow of the American Psychological Association. His research interests include intimacy violence, child maltreatment and trauma; couple, child and family therapy; and the psychotherapy process. Since 2007, he has been awarded more than $27,000 from the SFA Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to conduct treatment effectiveness research with women and children who have been victims of domestic violence and other abuse.
"Dr. Lawson's interests reflect all principles associated with being a researcher-practitioner, which is an exceptional reputation to have in higher education and in psychology," said Dr. Robbie Steward, chair of the department.
"His work with clients and trainees informs his teaching, which informs his research and scholarship, which, once again, informs his work as a practitioner and clinical supervisor. Dr. Lawson's work changes lives, those of his students, his clients and practitioners."
Lawson earned both a Bachelor of Science in biology and a Master of Education in counseling at SFA, as well as a Ph.D. in counseling from the University of North Texas.
The Gala cocktail reception begins at 6 p.m. and will be followed by a candlelight dinner at 7 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Blind Date of Austin, featuring a versatile repertoire of dance, rock, jazz, country and hip hop.
SFA donors to be honored at the Gala include Dr. Jim Towns, SFA professor of communication; Ina Brundrett, Tyler philanthropist; and The Daily Sentinel.
Tickets are $165 for orchestra seating and $115 for ballroom seating. Proceeds from the Gala help build a permanent endowment created by the SFA Foundation to honor faculty achievement.
For more information about the Gala or to purchase tickets, call (936) 468-5406.