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Judy A. Abbott, Ph.D.
Dean, James I. Perkins College of Education

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

What drew you to the higher education world?

Institutions of higher education are places that foster curiosity, places that not only “allow” questioning but “encourage” questioning. Consequently, whether attending an institution of higher education as a student or serving an institution of higher education as faculty, the expectation is to question, to inquire, to explore possibilities. This makes institutions of higher education fertile ground for changing lives and for creating new knowledge. Now that’s the life that I want to live!

What do you enjoy most about your role at SFA?

As the dean of the largest college on campus, I know that the faculty and staff are making a difference in the lives of many, many students — undergraduate, graduate and doctoral. And the lives of the faculty and staff within the college are enhanced by the interactions with our students. It is the reciprocal nature of teaching and learning that makes my daily life as dean so enjoyable. I see how students develop relationships with faculty — those relationships change lives!

What do you hope students gain from SFA?

My hope is that the students at SFA will develop their curiosity. When SFA faculty and staff are at their best, they are facilitating learning experiences that connect with the passions and interests of students. Learning, within this approach, is never a chore; rather, learning becomes joyful, meaningful, more self-initiated and self-motivating.

What are you passionate about outside of your role at SFA?

I am deeply involved in education initiatives within the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce and across the city and county of Nacogdoches. As chair of the Chamber education committee, I work with business and civic leaders who commit a portion of their professional and personal lives to supporting the education and leadership development of the young people in our area. Those young people are the future leaders of our community!

Education and Experience

Academic experience

  • Dean, James I. Perkins College of Education
    Stephen F. Austin State University (2010-present)
  • Assistant Dean, College of Human Resources & Education
    West Virginia University (2006-2010)
  • Director, Office of Teacher Education
    West Virginia University (2006-2009)
  • Associate Professor, Literacy Studies
    West Virginia University (2001-2010)
  • Assistant Professor, Literacy Studies
    West Virginia University (1995-2001)
  • Assistant Instructor, Language and Literacy Studies, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
    University of Texas at Austin (1992-1995)
  • Teaching Assistant, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
    University of Texas at Austin (1990-1992)
  • Elementary Teacher
    San Antonio Independent School District (1986-1990)
  • Research Assistant, Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation
    University of Oklahoma (1977-1978)

Education

  • Doctor of Curriculum and Instruction
    University of Texas at Austin (1996)
  • Master of Science in Health, Physical Education and Recreation
    University of Oklahoma (1984)
  • Bachelor of Science in Education
    University of Oklahoma (1977)

Awards / achievements

  • Mirabeau B. Lamar Award of Excellence
    Grand Lodge of Texas, A.F. & A.M. (2015)
  • Mountain (service honorary)
    West Virginia University Faculty Honorary Member (2005)
  • Madge McDaniel Distinguished Educator Award
    West Virginia Reading Association (2003)
  • Outstanding Researcher Award
    West Virginia University (2002)
  • Outstanding Teaching Award
    West Virginia University (1999; 1997)

Contact

Judy Abbott, Ph.D.
Dean, James I. Perkins College of Education
936.468.1410
abbottj@sfasu.edu
P.O. Box 13023, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962

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