The Wells Fargo Honors Faculty Mentor Award recognizes and rewards Honors faculty members whose dedication and
commitment to excellence in education is truly outstanding.
These faculty members encourage a spirit of inquiry in their students, are thoughtful teachers, and exhibit the strongest desire to train a new generation of thinkers and creators. This award is of special significance because recipients are nominated and selected by Honors Students.
The 2014 recipient of the Wells Fargo Honors Faculty Mentor Award, presented by Honors Student Council, is Dr. Donald J. Curtis, Jr.
Dr. Curtis was nominated by Honors Student Travis Askew. In the nomination statement, Askew writes:
Dr. Don Curtis is a man who truly cares for all the students within the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M. He is the Assistant Dean of Liberal Arts and the head of Liberal Arts Honors. Additionally, he is the head of the Cornerstone Liberal Arts Honors Program, which he puts a majority of his time into maturing. His goal with Cornerstone Program is to take some of the greatest students the Liberal Arts College has to offer and turn them into great critical thinkers and leaders. He teaches his students how to think critically and gives them the opportunity to gain international experience. In everything he does, it is truly evident that he cares for his students. He makes himself completely available to his students, whether they have important questions, or just need to talk: he is always there for his students. Furthermore, he truly cares for the development and advancement of his students inside and outside of the classroom. He doesn’t make his classes easy. He gives his students challenging assignments that take them outside of their comfort zone so that they will grow and be better prepared for the challenges that life and college will throw at them in the future. Dr. Curtis goes above and beyond the call of duty. He takes being an instructor and an adviser to whole new level and leaves a lasting, positive impact on all the students who have the privilege to spend any amount of time with him.
The distinction also comes with a $1000 monetary award. To see a list of previous awardees, visit the TAMU HUR Faculty Awards page.
Dr. Don Curtis is Assistant Dean for High Impact Programs for the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University. He is also a visiting assistant professor of American History and Director of the Liberal Arts Honors Program. Dr. Curtis is Director of the Cornerstone Program Honors Learning Community, a group of some of the best and brightest Liberal Arts majors at Texas A&M
Dr. Curtis received his doctorate from Texas A&M University in 2000 with a specialty in American Military and Diplomatic History. He has been at Texas A&M since 1993 and has previously served as Honors Program Coordinator for the University and Director of Undergraduate Student Services for the College of Liberal Arts. He has undergraduate degrees in Biological Science and History from the University of Nebraska and an MA in Military History from NU as well.
He is the author of Hard Times Come Again No More: General William S. Graves and the American Military Intervention in Siberia 1918-1920. Dr. Curtis has also authored several articles in military history and the applications of honors programs and learning communities in higher education.
Dr. Curtis had the honor of being a Fish Camp namesake in 2013 and was a TEDx TAMU speaker in 2014.
Dr. Curtis has been married to his wife Kari for fifteen years. They have an eight year old son, Ben, a lab/hound mix dog and a 100% antisocial cat.