Texas A&M chemist Dr. Vickie M. Williamson is one of two university faculty members who have been appointed to 2018 University Professorships in Undergraduate Teaching Excellence (UPUTE) at Texas A&M University.

Williamson, an instructional professor in the Department of Chemistry, will hold the Thaman Professorship in Undergraduate Teaching Excellence, a three-year appointment that carries an annual salary supplement of $5,000 provided by the university and an annual $5,000 discretionary income to support her teaching program and related professional development.

Williamson and her fellow UPUTE honoree, Texas A&M marketing professor and Eppright Professor Janet T. Parish, were formally recognized at the 2018 Transformational Teaching and Learning Conference, held April 17-18 in the Memorial Student Center Bethancourt Ballroom.

The prestigious UPUTE awards are reserved for the university's most distinguished teachers of undergraduates -- faculty who have exhibited uncommon excellence and devotion to the education of undergraduate students at Texas A&M. The professorships are made possible through generous endowments by George and Irma Eppright and Arthur J. and Wilhelmina Doré Thaman.

"Texas A&M University strives to meet our unique mission for Texas by supporting and recognizing our faculty's outstanding efforts in teaching, research and service," said Dr. Carol A. Fierke, provost and executive vice president. "These University Professorships acknowledge the particular expertise these faculty hold in working with our undergraduate students, as they become the future productive citizens of Texas and beyond."

Williamson joined the Texas A&M Chemistry faculty in 1997 after serving a number of years on the faculty at Illinois State University. She earned her bachelor's degree in natural science with a chemistry emphasis from the University of Central Oklahoma as well as both master's and doctoral degrees in chemical education from the University of Oklahoma. As a member of Chemistry's First Year Program, Williamson has successfully balanced teaching some of the department's largest introductory lecture courses, Chemistry 101 and 102, while conducting research designed to improve the teaching and learning of chemistry, often while mentoring undergraduate research assistants.

In her classes, Williamson employs multiple presentation modes to help bring chemistry concepts to life by representing chemical phenomena in terms of their laboratory or concrete characteristics, particulate behaviors, symbolic representations and mathematical relationships. Her curriculum development work includes authoring a general chemistry/inquiry-based laboratory manual, a similar laboratory manual for liberal arts chemistry, interactive CDs for high school chemistry, and textbooks and supplements for middle school to college-level chemistry.

Williamson has worked with more than 20,000 undergraduate students during her two decades at Texas A&M while mentoring 41 graduate and 30 undergraduates in chemical education research that has been recognized with the American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for Achievement in Research for the Teaching and Learning of Chemistry in 2015, the same year she was elected as an ACS fellow. She served on the national ACS Division of Chemical Education Research Committee for two consecutive terms from 2000 to 2005, subsequently chairing the committee from 2011 to 2014.

Williamson's additional career honors include the Society for College Science Teachers 2017 Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher Award and a 2014 Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching. A past Fish Camp namesake, she has served as regional director for the Associated Chemistry Teachers of Texas since 2006.

To learn more about Williamson's science teaching, research and service activities, visit her website.

For additional information on University Professorships for Undergraduate Teaching, go to the Dean of Faculties website.


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Alan R. Dabney, (979) 845-3144 or adabney@stat.tamu.edu

Nancy Sawtelle

  • Dr. Vickie M. Williamson

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