And The Award Goes To…

Dr. Beth Riggs awarded Faculty Excellence in Student Success

At around 9:12 a.m. on March 16, 2022. Dr. Beth Riggs was bestowed the Faculty Excellence in Student Success award during her 8am Concepts of Elementary Math class. She was left completely perplexed as the university president Dr. James Hurley, the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Karen Murray, as well as many of her colleagues, suddenly appeared in the middle of class showering her with praise, an award, honorary dinner, and a bonus.

According to many students on campus, as quoted by Dr. Hurley, “Dr. Riggs is an inspiration for innovative teaching, and provides many opportunities for preservice teachers.”

Dr. Riggs is one in a handful of female math professors located on Tarleton campus. In a male dominated career she is thriving and inspiring many others to be passionate about caring for their future students as well as mathematics. Many students feel connected to Dr. Riggs as she can make even a subject as difficult as math exciting for just about anyone. 

“My own child had Dr. Riggs as their math teacher and found their passion, even wanting to take calculus with her even though it was not necessary for their major. That is how good she is, always focusing on her students,” Dr. Murray shared her own experience with Dr. Riggs during this impromptu award ceremony. 

Dr. Riggs stated that she feels as though her love of math helps her serve as a role model for her female students. She expressed that it brings her an extreme amount of joy playing a part in helping other women better themselves. Being in the classroom has helped her learn new things about herself, others, and mathematics. For Riggs, it is all about the students helping students learn, since no matter what an educator teaches, if students do not gain anything from it what is the use? 

“Mistakes are expected, inspected, and respected,” said Riggs, “an important thing about women’s history is seeing how far we have grown, especially with the help of our mentors.” 

One thing Riggs lives by is to not be afraid of both making mistakes or putting yourself out there as a woman wanting to further your career or knowledge. She expressed that young female educators should not be afraid to try or go above and beyond, since that is what changes both yours and a student’s lives. For women in education, even though education may be a predominantly female lead profession, there are occasionally negative connotations that come alongside putting oneself out in this field. However, it is all about breaking down barriers using passions and inspirations, including math.