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2021 Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence Recipients

Chen and Dabney Honored with Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence Award

Two members of the Texas A&M University faculty were honored with the 2021 Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence (PPTE) Award, which are conferred upon the most distinguished teachers at Texas A&M University. PPTE recipients exhibit uncommon excellence and devotion to the education of their students. At the time of nomination, candidates must have at least five years of full-time service to Texas A&M University and should have demonstrated record of teaching excellence, including college-level teaching awards.

Presidential Professors receive a certificate, a commemorative medallion, and a financial award in the amount of $25,000 and the awardees bear the designation “Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence” for the rest of their careers.

The 2021 recipients of the Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence are:

Wei Jung Chen

Wei-Jung Chen
Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics
College of Medicine

Dr. Wei-Jung Chen earned his Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from the
State University of New York, Binghamton. Since starting at Texas A&M 
in 1999, Chen has been a guide to students not only in their first-year 
curriculum, but also has helped guide them through their clinical years by
helping schedule clinical rotations and providing advice while they applied
for residencies. Aside from mentoring students, Chen is always willing to
help junior faculty as they begin their careers and willing to share teaching
materials and resources and aid with their professional development. He
developed peer teaching experiences throughout the Medical Gross Anatomy 
course and created the Academically DrivenAnatomy Peer Teaching (ADAPT)
program in which selected second- and fourth-year medical students are given
the opportunity to present lectures and lab sessions for the first year Gross
Anatomy students. He has served as one of the Pre-Clerkship curriculum
leaders, as a member of the curriculum committee, and was a leader in the
curriculum redesign as the college moved from a discipline-based curriculum
to an integrated curriculum.

Alan Dabney

Alan Dabney
Department of Statistics
College of Science 

Dr. Alan Dabney joined Texas A&M University in 2006 after receiving his Ph.D.
 in Biostatistics from the University of Washington. His strengths include 
transforming complicated material into easily accessible lessons and 
developing an inventive curriculum that is used by other faculty. Dabney’s
innovative approach to teaching is exemplified by his creation of an 
educational lecture video he filmed with a green screen and special effects 
for the College in 2009. The video was so successful Freeman Publishing 
secured Dr. Dabney’s services to produce a series of 35 similar video lectures
on introductory statistics. Jointly with Dr. Thomas Wehrly, Dr. Dabney designed
the curriculum for the department B.S. in Statistics that began in 2016. They 
handled shepherding the program through the process of administrative 
approval at the university level and through the Board of Regents and the
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Dr. Dabney designed most of the
new courses needed for the program. Dr. Dabney’s work as co-chair of the
department Undergraduate Committee, chair of the Undergraduate Minor
Committee, and the inaugural Undergraduate Advisor of the B.S. program in
Statistics, culminated in his appointment to the position of Associate 
Department Head for Teaching Excellence in 2019.

The full list of Presidential Professors for Teaching Excellence is available for viewing here.