2014 Integrated Scholar: William Westney
Since his arrival in 1978, Westney has managed to intersect the arts, sciences and philosophy.
Written by Jourdan Scruggs
William Westney has long followed the path of an Integrated Scholar. His efforts have earned him the university’s highest honor, being named a Paul Whitfield Horn Professor—for his excellence in teaching, research and creative activity—as well as receiving the TTU System Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching Award and the TTU President’s Book Award, among other commendations. Westney brings fervor to engaging his students.
Since coming to Texas Tech as the Eva Browning Artist-in-Residence in 1978, Westney has expanded his focus from concert piano performance to the intersection of the arts, sciences and philosophy. His research concentrates on nonverbal interactions and understandings, and how these apply to the performance, teaching and aesthetics of music. This focus contributed to publication of the book “The Perfect Wrong Note: Learning to Trust Your Musical Self” and underlies the experimental collaborative project—one that integrates performance studies with technology—that his research team has been pursuing under the aegis of Texas Tech’s Transdisciplinary Research Academy.
Westney’s research continues to shape his teaching, whether in one-on-one piano lessons or in his larger performance workshops called “Un-Master Classes.” He is a popular guest presenter for classes in other divisions of TTU’s School of Music as well as for departments across campus, offering enrichment activities to students in such areas as physics, mathematics and art.
For a question-and-answer session and video of Westney click here.
Integrated Scholars are faculty who dedicate themselves to a course of lifelong learning and advance Texas Tech's role in educating, serving and inspiring others to do the same.
Integrated Scholars are not only outstanding in teaching, research and service, but they are also able to generate synergy among the three functions. Faculty members who are Integrated Scholars consistently promote active learning and infuse the results of their research and scholarship in courses and other learning experiences. Integrated Scholars publish results of their teaching innovations in peer-reviewed journals. Finally, Integrated Scholar faculty members plan and execute service commitments to complement their teaching and research goals.