UHD Professor Named Educator of the Year
By Paige Caldwell
Twice a year, the East Texas Historical Association (ETHA) convenes for a meeting comprised of paper presentations, panels led by historians, preservationists and archivists, and an award ceremony highlighting outstanding students and educators alike.
At ETHA’s fall meeting held October 12-13, University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) professor and Honors Program director, Dr. Mari Nicholson-Preuss was honored with the Ottis Lock Educator of the Year Award.
Each year, the Lock Endowment Committee nominates deserving educators who demonstrate excellence in educating the public about the history or culture of East Texas.
In addition to teaching multiple history courses, including "Houston: Past and Present", Nicholson-Preuss also serves as faculty advisor for UHD’s Garna Christian Chapter of Walter Prescott Webb Historical Society. Through this organization, students benefit from getting to present their work at conferences as undergraduates and receiving advice from other professionals researching the history of East Texas.
"I was truly honored to be named the Ottis Lock Educator of the Year by the East Texas Historical Association" said Nicholson-Preuss. "Having been a member of the association for more than a decade, it meant a lot to be recognized by my colleagues. In 2013, I began taking my UHD students to present at the ETHA conferences and have since organized six student panels. Much of my academic and professional success I owe to the remarkable faculty mentors I had at Texas Tech and I am doing my best to live up to their example with my own students."
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.