Center for Teaching and Learning

Texas Piper Professors

The Texas Piper Professors award, established in 1958 to recognize outstanding college professors across Texas, is made annually to 10 educators to honor their dedication to the teaching profession and for their outstanding academic, scientific and scholarly achievement.


Dr. Karen Huxtable-Jester teaches educational psychology, social psychology, and social & personality development. She also serves as the associate director for the Center for Teaching and Learning. In that role, she provides consultation and creates teaching-related professional development opportunities for doctoral students and faculty. Dr. Huxtable-Jester also serves as chair of UT Dallas’ academic senate’s committee on effective teaching, which works to promote teaching excellence across the campus. She has been awarded the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award for the University of Texas System, as well as the Seniors’ Choice and Excellence in Teaching awards for the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Dr. Huxtable-Jester earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and her master’s and doctoral degrees from the Ohio State University. In 2017, Dr. Huxtable-Jester was inducted into the UT System Academy of Distinguished Teachers.


Dr. Theresa M. Towner is a specialist in the works of William Faulkner, while also researching African-American literature and fantasy literature. Her classroom work has been recognized as she received the Chancellor’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award in 2002 and The University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award in 2010.


Dr. John Sibert is an associate professor of chemistry in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at UT Dallas. He is a recipient of the President’s Teaching Excellence Award and has also been inducted into the inaugural class of The University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers.