• by Sara Carsrud •

Dr. Louis Harveson, a Sul Ross professor of Natural Resource Management and the Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., Director of the Borderlands Research Institute, was recently honored with a Texas State University System Regents’ Professor Award.  He answers questions about teaching at SRSU and the experience of receiving the University System’s highest academic distinction.

When did you first find out being named a 2018 Regents’ Professor?

I was actually travelling on vacation with my family when I got the call.  We were on I-25 south of Albuquerque going about 80 mph.  I answered a call from an unlisted number and it was Dr. Kibler.  I had no idea why he was calling.  In fact, I had a little panic attack, wondering if I was in trouble for something?  After some small talk, he let me know that I was selected to be named a Regents’ Professor at their November meeting.  I was completely overwhelmed by the news, so much so that I had to pull over to gather myself.

What does this prestigious honor mean to you?

I’ve had the privilege to know and be mentored by a handful of Regent Professors during graduate school at other universities.  Each of them had a hand on my professional development and are responsible for who I am today.  For academics, being named a Regents’ Professor is like finding the Holy Grail!  It’s the highest honor a faculty member can achieve at their university, and that’s a lot to take in.  Looking at the names and biographies of the previous Regents’ Professors is extremely humbling.  Among that list is a combination of pioneers, humanitarians, thought leaders, passionate educators, artists, and scientists.  It’s also extremely motivating.  I want to make sure my contributions to higher education and conservation, while I’m at SRSU, are up to snuff to my peers.

You have been working for SRSU for over 20 years now, what are some of your most memorable moments?

As an educator, I enjoy all aspects of mentoring students.  I pride myself in being able to cultivate and inspire young men and women to be their best.  Each student is different.  They have different backgrounds, experiences, motivations, and goals.  Being able to help chart their path through college and into the professional world is challenging, but extremely rewarding.  When they do find their way, the student-to-mentor relationship evolves into a peer-to-peer friendship and I love witnessing that transformation.

As a conservationist, the relationships that our students and staff form with landowners is really special.  The passion and pride our landowners have in stewarding natural resources is addictive…I can’t get enough.  There’s nothing I enjoy more than spending time with landowners, assessing their property, and seeing where we can help them meet their conservation goals.

Any final comments?

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s a great time to be thankful!  I’m very blessed.  I’m blessed to have a loving family and good friends.  I’m blessed to have found a career that I love.  I’m blessed to work at SRSU, which allows me toconnect with students, landowners, and the west Texas community. The partnerships and friendships that we form throughout our life is what defines us.  I’m extremely thankful for all those friendships!