Aliza Wong is one of only 10 selected in the State of Texas.
Texas Tech University's Aliza Wong, an associate professor in the Department of History and the associate dean of the Honors College, was selected as a 2019 Piper Professor by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation. She is one of only 10 selected in the State of Texas.
The Piper Professor Program began in 1958 to recognize outstanding professors from public and private two- and four-year colleges and universities in Texas. Each university selects one professor for the nomination. This year, it was Wong's name that was recognized.
"I am very honored and humbled to be chosen as a Piper Professor," Wong said. "It's been several years since someone from Texas Tech was selected, so I am very fortunate to have been the candidate put forward for consideration and even more privileged to have been chosen as a Piper Professor."
Sean Cunningham, an associate professor and chairman of the history department, wrote one of the recommendation letters endorsing Wong for the award.
"There is no one more deserving of this recognition than Aliza Wong," Cunningham said. "I've been on faculty at Texas Tech since 2007, and consistently – each year – Aliza Wong is the most active, amiable, engaged, caring and productive educator I know. Students love her, even when she challenges them. She's an asset to Texas Tech, and I'm glad the Piper Program sees it that way, too."
Wong said she was fortunate to have people like Cunningham, as well as Michael San Francisco, dean of the Honors College, nominate her.
San Francisco echoed Cunningham's sentiments on Wong.
"I cannot think of a more deserving scholar for this very prestigious Piper Professor award," San Francisco said. "Dr. Wong is a consummate scholar, administrator and educator. She dedicates her efforts to the academic mission wholeheartedly."
In recognition of being named a Piper Professor, Wong will receive a $5,000 honorarium, a gold pin and a certificate commemorating the award.
"The monetary award is very generous and will be put to good use in both my research and teaching," Wong said. "The pin and certificate are badges of honor, but I think the real reward of being named a Piper Professor is the honor of standing amongst faculty who I know are really committed to pedagogy and who are really committed to not only the educative side, but also the mentoring, research, sponsoring leadership and nurturing side."
Wong also notes that her students have impacted her as much as she has them.
"I think it's the students who make the teacher," she said. "I have been very privileged and extremely fortunate to work with diverse, intelligent and incredibly generous students who have taught me how to teach."