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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.

Initial RAC Members

Elected members will serve beginning with the 2024-25 academic year.

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

Reuber Antoniazzi

Dr. Reuber Antoniazzi received a Bachelor of Science in biology from the Federal University of Ouro Preto, and a Master of Science in biological sciences from the State University of Montes Claros, both in Brazil. He earned a doctorate in ecology from Instituto de Ecologia A.C., in Mexico.

Antoniazzi’s research is focused on the mechanisms and processes of biodiversity changes in space and time. Using a wide range of tools in quantitative analysis and modeling, Antoniazzi’s studies are mainly concentrated on the vertical stratification in tropical forests. Now, Antoniazzi is applying his knowledge and skills to evaluate the effect of forest management on wildlife.

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. Jason Bruck

Dr. Bruck's research interests include cognition, communication and sensory physiology in dolphins. He also focuses on how social ecology shapes spatial navigation in monogamous steppe mice. Bruck holds a B.S. in biopsychology from Long Island University: Southampton College and an M.A. in comparative human development and Ph.D. in behavioral biology from the University of Chicago.

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.

Leslie G. Cecil

Dr. Leslie G. Cecil holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Her research interests include ceramic analysis, Mesoamerica archaeology, archaeometry and anthropology of technology. She conducts SFA’s Archaeological Field School. 

Janice K. Cho

Janice K. Cho holds a PhD in mass communication from Texas Tech University. Her research interest lies in social media dynamics, subjective well-being and communication aimed at children. She teaches advertising and public relations in the Department of Mass Communication at SFA. 

Cord Eversole

Cord Eversole holds a doctoral degree in wildlife science, as well as a Bachelor and Master of Science in wildlife and range management from Texas A&M University at Kingsville. His research is focused on understanding the dynamics between vertebrate organisms and their environment, specifically those affected by environmental change and stochasticity.

Dr. Kevin Jones

Dr. Kevin Jones’ research interests include curriculum and instruction, urban school/university partnerships, equity pedagogy and music education.

Larry King

Dr. Larry King earned his doctorate in communication from the University of Oklahoma. Research interests include public and political communication and assessment.

Matthew Kwiatkowski

Dr. Kwiatkowski’s research focuses on the ecology, evolution, and conservation of reptiles and amphibians, with particular emphasis on spatial ecology and sexual selection. He holds a B.S. in biology from New Mexico State University, an M.A. in biology from the University of South Dakota and a Ph.D. in biology from Arizona State University. Dr. Kwiatkowski is the coordinator for the Department of Biology's graduate program.

Linda Levitt

Dr. Linda Levitt earned her doctorate in communication from University of South Florida. Her research interests include the intersections of media studies, cultural memory and gender studies. Levitt is the coordinator of the gender studies minor.

Dr. Carmen Montaña-Schalk

Dr. Montaña-Schalk’s research interests include aquatic community ecology, fish ecology, conservation ecology, and food-web ecology in tropical and temperate freshwater ecosystems. She holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences and a master’s degree in wildlife and fisheries management from Universidad Nacional de los Llanos Occidentales Ezequiel Zamora. She also holds a doctorate in wildlife and fisheries sciences from Texas A&M University.

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, Room 419
Nacogdoches, Texas

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