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Faculty Recognition

The College of Liberal and Fine Arts is lead by a group of exemplary, award-winning, published and experienced faculty members. Our team is here to support you in every step of your journey at Tarleton State University. Join us in recognizing the featured faculty member, Dr. Jesús Velasco, and recipients of Tarleton's 2018 Faculty Awards for their dedicated service and accomplishments.

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Velasco

Dr. Jesús Velasco

Dr. Velasco's expertise engages students in the areas of Latin American politics, foreign views of the US, and foreign policy. His recent paper, "The Future of US-Mexico Relations: A Tale of Two Crises," was accepted for publication by the Baker Institute Mexico Center. Since 2014, Dr. Velasco has been a non-resident scholar at the Baker Institute Mexico Center. Recently, Dr. Velasco was invited to serve on the editorial board of the International Journal of Law and Society. A graduate of Universidad Iberoamericana and The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Velasco is the Joe and Teresa Long Endowed Chair and an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Sciences. 


2018 Faculty Awards

Join in congratulating our award winners for the 2018 Tarleton State University Faculty Awards.

O.A. Grant Excellence in Teaching

Mr. Ireland

Dr. Chris Ireland

Mr. Chris Ireland, Associate Professor of Art in the Department of Fine Arts, was born and raised in Cleveland, OH. He earned a BFA in Photography at the Cleveland Institute of Art and received his MFA in Digital Media at Washington State University. Since joining the faculty in 2009, he has helped diversify and grow the Art program at Tarleton. He designed the curriculum for the interdisciplinary Digital Media Studies degree. He has helped oversee the construction and implementation of new courses, lab space, classroom technology, faculty lines, and senior capstone rubrics. Chris has encouraged student involvement in professional conferences and study abroad, leading student trips from New York City to South Africa. He is an active member of the Society for Photographic Education as well as a board member of the Texas Photographic Society. His artistic projects have been featured in exhibitions around the country and internationally.

Barry B. Thompson Service Award

Dr. Marrugo-Puello

Dr. Marrugo-Puello
Dr. Bertha Cecilia Marrugo-Puello joined the Tarleton State University academic faculty in January 2012 in the Department of English and Languages, after completing a Master’s degree at the University of Arkansas in 2007, and a Ph.D. at the University of Houston in 2011, both in Spanish. Besides her teaching commitments, Dr. Marrugo is closely involved in service to the Tarleton and Stephenville communities, as well as abroad. She has served as the Hispanic Student Organization (HSO) Advisor for several years and helped re-shape its mission by focusing on leadership and service. For instance, she arranged meetings between HSO officers and the coordinator of the Spanish Study Abroad program to her native Colombia, and has incorporated a community service component where students take donations to sick children from impoverished backgrounds. She has also served on various committees and as interim faculty senator for her department at Tarleton.

Outstanding Jr. Faculty

Dr. Mattie Fitch

Dr. Mattie Fitch

Dr. Mattie Fitch joined Tarleton State University as a faculty member in the Department of Social Sciences in 2016. She is an Assistant Professor of History who studies culture and politics in modern France. A graduate of Wellesley College and Yale University, her research on the antifascist movement that formed in France in the 1930s has taken her to numerous archives across France. At Tarleton, she loves teaching courses on the World Wars, European revolutions, and the 19th-century European culture. She also relishes her World Civilizations courses, which allow her to show skeptical students how fun and interesting history can be. Her other activities include singing in the Cross Timbers Civic Chorale.

Faculty Excellence in Scholarship

Dr. Christopher Gearhart

Dr. Chris Gearhart

Dr. Christopher Gearhart, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies, joined Tarleton State University in 2013 and teaches in the area of Professional and Relational Communication. His research has led to 20 published articles and book chapters on a variety of topics including listening, sports, and teaching methods. In 2016, he was previously awarded the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award for Tarleton State University. Dr. Gearhart is a graduate of the University of North Texas, San Diego State University, and Louisiana State University. He shares three wonderful sons Christian, Luke and Asher with his wife, Kimberly.

Faculty Excellence in Student Success

Mr. Dan Malone

Dan Malone

Mr. Dan Malone loves a good story-particularly if one of his students wrote it. The assistant professor teaches journalism and broadcasting in the Department of Communication Studies and advises students at the award-winning Texan News Service. He joined Tarleton State University as a faculty member in 2006. Before teaching, Malone reported for almost 30 years in Texas newsrooms. He shares a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting on police misconduct. He co-authored the book “America’s Condemned: Death Row Inmates in Their Own Words.” He earned a bachelor’s degree at UT and a master’s at UNT. He’s a member of the Society of the Professional Journalist and Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas board.