Dr. Roger Platizky, Austin College’s Henry L. and Laura H. Shoap Professor of English, was presented the Homer P. Rainey Award for Outstanding Achievement and Service to Austin College at the annual Honors Convocation April 27 on campus. Platizky has taught English and other cross-disciplinary classes at Austin College for 28 years. He is the sponsor of the ACCARES organization, president of the Iota Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and serves on the Health Science and Gender Studies Committees. The Homer P. Rainey Award is awarded annually by the Board of Trustees to an Austin College faculty or staff member in honor of the legacy of Rainey, a 1919 graduate who served as a faculty member and president of several colleges in the U.S. The Rainey Award is the highest honor a faculty or staff member may receive at the College.
“Roger is an outstanding professor of English who models the very best of what our faculty can be—in teaching, service, and inspiration to others,” said President Marjorie Hass in announcing the award. She went on to say that his students find him demanding but fair and kind, and that he routinely mentors them by identifying what they do well and by providing constructive criticism in ways that encourage high academic performance. “His commitment of nearly three decades demonstrates his devotion and concern for others, and a conviction of the importance for every student to gain understanding and compassion by looking through the eyes of another.”
Dr. Platizky has a passion for social change and awareness, particularly related to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the fight for LGBT equal rights, Dr. Hass said. “For the entirety of his career at Austin College, he has brought inclusion, education, and compassion to our campus and to our neighborhood,” she said.“Through his sponsorship of ACCares, he has put names and faces to accounts of personal loss and victory amid great challenge.”
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.