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Mission and Purpose

The Research Advisory Council of the Office of Research and Graduate Studies will advance the research capacity of the university. The council defines research as projects that use scholarly or creative methods and techniques within an academic discipline to produce a deeper knowledge, understanding or application of the subject studied. This includes theoretical or applied research, artistic activity and evidence-based scholarship that encompass all disciplines.

The council will elevate research volume and advance research visibility by: advocating for university resources, university-wide policies and university-wide procedures to enhance research and the visibility of research on campus; promoting faculty research collaboration and engagement; advocating for expanding student research opportunities; and advocating for expanding support for obtaining external research funding.

Join the Collaboration

Complete the interest form to learn how you can be a part of this exciting initiative as a research advocate! A council member will reach out to you using the contact information you provide.

Benefits to the University

The council will support the strategic goals of the university by advocating for enhancements to the overall research climate of the university. This will support the strategic goals of attracting and retaining high-quality faculty and students; fostering curricular and cocurricular innovations; redefining university culture to include a focus on research, in addition to teaching; and increasing connections and collaborations across campus and the community through research. Additionally, by enhancing research and research visibility, the overall reputation of SFA will be elevated, positively impacting student recruitment and retention. If successful, externally funded research is expected to increase over time, adding to the financial resources of the institution.

I believe the council will help us expand our research through transdisciplinary collaboration between majors and colleges. Gina Causin, Ph.D.

My research program has improved tremendously by finding collaborators with related interests and complimentary skill sets. Until the creation of the council, there was no systematic way for faculty to find others with compatible interests. I hope that the council will facilitate research collaborations across campus and increase the profile of research on campus and within the community. Lauren E. Brewer, Ph.D.

My hope is that RAC will provide an avenue for faculty to advocate for increased research resources, research support and research collaborations across our university. The council has great potential for increasing the visibility of research on our campus and in the community, benefitting students, faculty, the university and the community. Flora Farago, Ph.D.

Scope of the Research Advisory Council

Research at SFA is supported by specialized campus groups sharing a common goal, but with distinct roles. Along with the Research Advisory Council, these entities include the University Research Council and University Graduate Council. The scope of each group is delineated as follows.

Research Advisory Council

The Research Advisory Council is an advocate of:

  • University resources, university-wide policies, and university-wide procedures to enhance research and the visibility of research on campus
  • Promoting faculty research collaboration and engagement
  • Expanding student research opportunities
  • Expanding support for obtaining external funding for research

University Research Council

The URC is responsible for:

  • Developing guidelines for, and recommendations of, awards for internal university research grants
  • Developing and recommending university research policies based upon state and federal laws and regulations
  • Recommending policies and procedures to encourage research activities and to improve the research environment of the university

University Graduate Council

The University Graduate Council recommends policies and procedures relative to graduate student admission and programs, graduate faculty membership, graduate curriculum, graduate theses and dissertations, and other matters pertaining to graduate education at the university level.


Lauren Brewer

Dr. Lauren Brewer attended Florida State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a Master of Science and a PhD in social psychology. Her research interests include the self, philosophical psychology and the scholarship of teaching and learning. She is a member of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the Society for the Teaching of Psychology and the Southwestern Psychological Association.

Dr. Gina Fe Causin

Dr. Gina Fe Causin has more than 20 years of experience in meeting, event and lodging operation and hospitality education. She is widely published in professional journals focusing on hospitality and tourism management, legal and safety issues related to hospitality and family and consumer sciences.

Causin’s research interests include accessibility for individuals with visual impairment, sustainability of cultural festivals using the triple bottom line approach, expatriation, culture and socialization, green meetings, events and lodging.

Causin earned her Bachelor of Science in hotel and restaurant management from Mindanao State University. She received her Master of Science in hospitality administration and her PhD in human environmental sciences from Oklahoma State University.

Dr. Flόra Faragό

Dr. Flόra Faragό’s teaching and research interests center around gender and ethnic-racial socialization in children, prejudice and stereotype development and anti-bias and anti-racist education. She is particularly interested in the link between research and community activism.

Faragό collaborates with colleagues and organizations nationally and internationally, including the Indigo Cultural Center, Local to Global Justice, the Jirani Project, and the Girl Child Network. She earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science from the University of Texas at Dallas and holds a PhD from Arizona State University.

To learn more about Dr. Faragó's work, visit

Dr. Mary Hawkins

Dr. Mary Hawkins earned her Bachelor of Science in biology and two Master of Education degrees – in health and wellness promotion and in sports administration – from Northwestern State University. She holds a PhD in health science from the University of Arkansas.

Her areas of interest are community and public health, disease prevention, active living, program planning and program evaluation.

Dr. Heather Olson Beal

Dr. Heather K. Olson Beal taught Spanish at the secondary and post-secondary levels and obtained a Master of Arts in modern languages at Texas A&M University before completing a PhD in curriculum and instruction from Louisiana State University. She is the co-creator and co-director of the C.R.E.A.T.E. program at SFA and teaches courses in educational foundations, family and community engagement, and educational policy and advocacy. Her scholarship examines the issues of school choice, second language education and the experiences of women and mothers in academia.

Dr. Tingting Xu

Dr. Tingting Xu holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Nanjing University of Finance and Economics and a Master of Science in early childhood education and PhD in curriculum and instruction from Florida State University. Xu has a solid research agenda, with research interests focused mainly on childhood obesity and preservice teachers’ professional development. She has published 12 peer-reviewed/refereed journals and two book chapters.



Office of Research and Graduate Studies
Fax: 936.468.7369

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Physical Address:
404 Aikman Drive
Dugas Liberal Arts North
Nacogdoches, Texas

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 13024, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962