Belton, Texas--During spring commencement ceremonies today, UMHB Provost Steve Oldham announced that Dr. Darrell Watson, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, has been named a Piper Professor of 2012 by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation of San Antonio. Watson is one of only ten Texas professors who were selected for the 2012 award, which recognizes superior teaching at the college level. The award brings with it a $5,000 honorarium for the professor.
Dr. Watson has taught chemistry and directed student research at UMHB for 31 years. During those years, he has also served as chairman of the chemistry department and dean of the College of Sciences and Humanities. In 1977, he sponsored the establishment of the Sigma Pi Chemistry Club, which was officially chartered by the American Chemical Society. During its 34 years, this chapter has been recognized as an “Outstanding Chapter” by the American Chemical Society more than 20 times. During his tenure, Dr. Watson also developed his popular Chem Camp summer program for elementary and middle school students, and he was the founder and first full-time director of the UMHB Science Education Resource Center to support K through 12 science education.
Today Watson holds the Amy LeVesconte Professorship of Chemistry at UMHB. In addition to his work in the classroom, he has published numerous research papers and holds a patent on the anticonvulsant drug Lacosamide.