Professor honored with Patriot Award


Lifestyle Reporter

As men and women signed up to fight for their country after 9/11, one Texas State professor made a promise to assist them with their education when they got home.

Now, Katherine Selber, social work professor, is being recognized for her efforts.

Selber was awarded the Texas Veterans Commission Patriot Award of 2015 for her exemplary service to veterans, their families and the rest of the community. 

The professor said she received the award because of her leadership position in the Veterans Advisory Council, which provides resources to veterans returning to school.

Selber said most of her efforts involve teaching at the College of Applied Arts and working to help groups who give assistance to veterans in the community and on campus.

“I do a lot of program development work,” Selber said. “Our veterans’ initiative at the school of social work provides services directly to veterans in terms of helping them.”

Selber said she has been assisting military personnel, veterans and their relatives since 9/11.

“The Veterans Advisory Council has a strategic plan and we are always trying to improve our focus and our coordination,” Selber said. “We’re constantly seeking feedback from veterans, and we are trying to keep veterans at the center.”

Nancy Chavkin, Regents' Professor of Social Work and director of the Center for Children and Families, said she has collaborated with Selber during various projects in the School of Social Work.

Chavkin said the pair also worked to create a grant to help veterans pay for school.

“I hope that more campuses will do the programming that she’s done,” Chavkin said. “I hope the university will continue to value the many veterans we have on campus.”

Selber said many people work together at Texas State to ensure the university is doing the most they can to serve veterans.

“We have over 2,800 veteran independents on campus,” Selber said. “We have a big campus-wide effort to serve that population.”

Angela Ausbrooks, associate professor, said she has seen Selber’s work continue to prosper over the past nine years.

“Her reputation is of someone who is very professional and knowledgeable,” Ausbrooks said. “It is because of her dedication and commitment to veterans and their families.” 

Selber said she was honored to have her efforts acknowledged for such an important cause.  

“It means a lot to me to be recognized as someone who provides good service to veterans and leadership in the area,” Selber said. “It is really a benchmark in my career.”

Selber’s works have inspired many students to use their own careers to assist veterans, Chavkin said.

“She is an amazing and a wonderful asset to Texas State and to the students,” Chavkin said. “We are all so proud of her.”

Selber said her success would not have been possible without each one of her team members.

“Yes, it’s an award that honors my work but it really is an award for of all our work on campus to make veterans’ success on campus easier,” Selber said.

Follow Louis Zylka on Twitter at @OrinZylka.