History professor rewarded for his dedication and service to teaching
By Mindy Green
Faculty member Kenneth H. Margerison is fascinated by the past and the way that people in earlier time periods dealt with the opportunities and problems they faced. Convinced that we have much to learn from the experiences of previous eras, he provides the opportunity for his students to gain insight and respect for history.
Margerison is a published professor in the Department of History and has been a faculty member at Texas State University since 1972. He was recently named Piper Professor for 2013 by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation for his dedication to teaching and devotion to working with students. The annual Piper Professor Program recognizes 10 professors from across Texas to honor their achievements.
Other prestigious honors and awards also attest to his passion: the Texas State Everett Swinney Teaching Award (1990, 2005, 2006), the Mariel M. Muir Mentoring Award (2010), Honors Program Professor of the Year (1991) and the National Council of Higher Education James M. Davenport Award (2002).
His excellence is fueled by his passion for history and for helping students establish and achieve their goals. “I have seen students develop in amazing ways during the course of their undergraduate studies and go on to have interesting and rewarding careers in areas they could never have imagined as freshmen,” Margerison says. “At the graduate level, I have assisted students taking the first steps toward a professional career in history.”
Through teaching history, he can exercise his love for the subject as well as for mentoring. “I am also motivated by my desire to help students grow intellectually, to learn to communicate effectively in both oral and written fashion, to learn how to do basic research, to master difficult concepts, to meet their challenges and to set a path for their future,” Margerison says. “I think that the discipline of history, if properly taught, can help students in all of these areas.”
Margerison credits his students for his successful career. “I have always had students interested in the history that I teach, and I have attempted to provide them with the most stimulating and insightful classes possible on the periods of history for which I am responsible,” he says. “Whatever success I’ve had as a professor has only been possible because of these students.”
Margerison describes Texas State as “an association of individuals, faculty and students, seeking knowledge,” and is grateful for the opportunity the university has given him to do what he loves best.
“What I love about Texas State University is the people: my students, my colleagues, and the administrative officers and staff that bring us all together and allow the institution to function,” Margerison says. “Over the years, I have learned much about the discipline of history and how to teach it successfully from my colleagues in the Department of History, one of the great teaching departments on campus.”