NACOGDOCHES, Texas — When Dr. Matthew Beauregard was offered a position as a professor in Stephen F. Austin State University’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics, he initially wasn’t sure the university was the right fit for him.

A native of upstate New York, Beauregard was working for another institution when SFA sought him out. Although hesitant at first, the relationships formed during his interview with Dr. Deborah Pace, then the dean of SFA’s mathematics department, helped Beauregard realize the university was exactly what he was looking for. Soon after, he packed his bags and headed to Nacogdoches.

“I came to SFA, and I loved it,” Beauregard said. “It felt like a family before I even got here.”

During his five years with the university, Beauregard has taught a variety of math classes but prefers following a student cohort’s progress from their first through upper-level courses. In each class, he strives to teach students not only the course material, but also about putting study skills into practice throughout their college career.

“I love being part of our students’ lives as they move through their degree plan year after year, moving closer and closer to reaching their long-term goals and maturing info professionals,” he said. “The mentorship is by far my favorite thing.”

As an applied mathematician, Beauregard sees math as a toolbox capable of solving real-world problems. Currently, he uses this toolbox for several research endeavors in various fields, including with the United States Geological Survey Lab to study control methods for invasive species. Applied mathematics also gives him the opportunity to study areas not traditionally associated with the math, like linguistics. He is currently working with a linguist to study the efficacy of different controls to promote stable bilingualism.

“I’m not an engineer, physicist or biologist by trade, but I’m a handyman that comes in and can most likely get the job done,” he said.

For his work, Beauregard was recently recognized with the SFA Teaching Excellence Award for the College of Sciences and Mathematics. This award is given annually and is based on knowledge of subject matter, quality of lectures and assignments, enthusiasm for teaching, interest in and availability to students, commitment to continuous improvement, and contribution to the quality of teaching at SFA by assisting and encouraging other faculty members.

“Dr. Beauregard is student-centered in all aspects of his career,” said Dr. Lesa Beverly, chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. “He is always looking for opportunities to improve his teaching, involve students in his research and be a part of recruitment efforts. He is truly transforming the life of his students, one Lumberjack at a time.”