Dr. Neil Gray, associate professor of chemistry at The University of Texas at Tyler, has been named a 2007 Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation Professor, UT Tyler President Rodney H. Mabry, announced.
It is the first Piper professorship for UT Tyler. Gray will receive a $5,000 award in recognition of his exceptional teaching.
“I am honored to be a member of this outstanding faculty, many of which deserve this award,” said Gray. “To be nominated and then to receive this award is certainly the biggest honor of my academic career. Also, the fact that I’m part of a great group of teachers here at UT Tyler makes this award special to me.”
Among Gray’s numerous other UT Tyler teaching awards and honors are the Chancellor’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award, the President’s Scholarly Achievement Award, the Texas Alpha Chi Chapter Outstanding Faculty Award and the Jack and Dorothy Fay White Fellowship in Teaching Excellence. He also served as the 2005-06 UT Tyler Faculty Senate president.
“Dr. Gray has demonstrated himself to be an outstanding and effective teacher, scholar and faculty leader at UT Tyler,” said Dr. Don McClaugherty, UT Tyler chemistry department chair. “He has a university-wide reputation for being one of the most student-oriented, dedicated faculty members.”
Gray, a 1990 UT Tyler graduate, holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Texas A&M University.
“Anything that gets UT Tyler’s name out there is just a great thing,” Gray added. “To be a part of it is just very humbling. It was the great teachers here who made me want to be a teacher. To be back and working with these guys here is a big honor. So that makes this even better.”
Fifteen awards of $5,000 each are made annually by the foundation to professors for superior teaching at the college level. Selection is made on the basis of nominations submitted by each college or university in Texas. Begun in 1958 with eight awards, the roster of Piper professors includes outstanding professors from two- and four-year colleges and both public and private universities.
Organized in 1950, the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation’s purpose is to support charitable, scientific or educational undertakings toward education while supporting any other non-profit organization or activity dedicated to the furtherance of the general welfare within the state. Randall Gordon Piper and his wife, Minnie Stevens Piper, were principal donors.
One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 70 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of nearly 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.