UT Tyler Magazine - Spring / Summer 2016
Excellence in teaching is the heart and soul of this university. When I am asked about UT Tyler and what makes us special, the skill, expertise and dedication of our faculty are always at the top of my list.
We pride ourselves on having faculty members who are committed to helping students build their lives and careers. Whether it’s by working extra hours with a student who is struggling or doing the research needed to be able to stay on the leading edge of their fields, UT Tyler faculty go above and beyond to help our students succeed.
The benefits our students receive because of that dedication are endless. I am often approached by UT Tyler alumni who want to tell me what a great experience they had at this university. Before long, those conversations always turn to the faculty, and how one or two great professors made a real difference in the life of that particular graduate.
In this issue, we will focus on teaching at UT Tyler and all the ways that we are adopting innovative methods and technologies in order to prepare students for the real-life situations they will encounter in a professional environment. Through the integrated use of technology and the adoption of team-based learning techniques, we are working diligently to make sure students have the tools they need to succeed in today’s world.
Our dedication to excellence in teaching has not wavered during my 18 years as president of this university, and, indeed, it has been a part of UT Tyler since the very first cohort enrolled. Because of that tradition of excellence, our more than 34,000 alumni are a driving force in this region and beyond. They are out in the world, making a difference and succeeding in their fields.
Earlier this spring, we honored three of those alumni at our annual Alumni and Friends Gala. You will hear more about them in this issue. During that event, we got the chance to hear their stories and how they are making a difference.
We recognized two with our Distinguished Alumni Award: East Texas Baptist University President Dr. J. Blair Blackburn and Kathryn Murphy, who is making great strides as a partner at Goranson Bain, PLLC, in Dallas and Fort Worth.
This year’s Distinguished Young Alum, Matthew Riccardi, is senior manager of basketball operations and scout for the National Basketball Association’s Brooklyn Nets organization.
During the gala, each of the three alumni spoke about the faculty members who had made a difference in their lives and helped them succeed.
The success stories of our three honored alumni, and the achievements of thousands of others, make what we do here truly worthwhile. We are proud to be a university dedicated to great teaching.
Rodney H. Mabry
Dr. Ben R. Fisch Professor of Economics and Finance