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May 2009

Release Date: May 1, 2009ASU Logo

ASU’s Amos Named Piper Distinguished Professor

Angelo State University biology Professor Bonnie B. Amos has been named a Piper Distinguished Professor for 2009 by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the teaching profession.

Dr. Amos, who joined the ASU faculty in 1987, becomes the ninth Angelo State faculty member honored with the prestigious statewide award. In addition to being one of the top statewide honors for professors in higher education, the designation carries with it a $5,000 honorarium.

A reception to honor Amos is scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday, May 11, in the West Texas Gallery on the second floor of the Houston Harte University Center. The event is open free to the campus community and the public.

ASU President Joseph C. Rallo said the award is especially prestigious because nominees from all accredited colleges and universities in the state are considered for recognition. Fifteen faculty members statewide were designated Piper professors for 2009.

Rallo said Amos is to be commended not only for her commitment to the education of her students, but also her willingness to mentor undergraduate research projects and her dedication as curator of the Herbarium in ASU’s Natural History Collections.

“Dr. Amos has been recognized with other teaching awards at ASU,” Rallo said. “It is gratifying to see that her excellence has now been honored statewide.”

Amos received the university’s 2008 Teaching Excellence Award. Her research includes numerous studies and surveys of plants native to the Chihuahuan Desert and Chisos Mountains regions of Big Bend National Park. She has also conducted research on behalf of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Texas National Guard. She is currently accompanying students on four different projects as they study specific plants in Mitchell County, the Texas Hill Country and Belize.

As curator of the Herbarium, Amos oversees more than 60,000 plant specimens from Texas, the U.S. and around the world. She also built and maintains an electronic database for the Herbarium.

Amos holds her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from ASU and her Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. She was head of the ASU Biology Department from 1987-2000.

Angelo State University’s previous Piper recipients and their fields are Dr. Terry C. Maxwell, biology, 2007; Dr. Sudhir K. Chawla, management, 2000; Dr. Otto W. Tetzlaff, German, 1991; Dr. Charles A. Endress, history, 1986; Duane O. Eberhardt, economics, 1979; Dr. Verna Mae Crutchfield, education, 1971; Dr. Billy Mac Jones, history, 1967; and Dr. Lewis E. Fraser, modern languages, 1959.

The Piper Foundation established the honor in 1958. Since then, professors at more than 100 state institutions of higher learning have been honored.

Nominations for the awards are requested annually by the Piper Foundation from all accredited institutions of higher learning in Texas. An impartial selection committee from the academic community carefully reviews each nomination to choose those professors to be honored. In the deliberations, the committee tries to seek out the well-rounded, outgoing teacher, who is devoted to the profession and has had an impact on students and the community.

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