Gina Hale honored with David J. Beck Teaching Excellence Award

Dr. Regina Hale, associate professor JoAnne Gay Dishman School of Nursing and Director of Undergraduate Research and Student Success, has been awarded the David J. Beck Teaching Excellence Award. Annually, the David J. Beck Teaching Excellence Award, established though a gift from LU distinguished alumnus David J. Beck, rewards one faculty member who excels as a teacher or otherwise brings significant honor to Lamar University through innovative instructional pedagogy. The award carries with it a check of $25,000.Hale Story

On Tuesday, June 13, Hale was presented with the award by Lamar University President Jaime Taylor and Provost Dann Brown who interrupted one of her classes to announce the bestowment.

“The David J. Beck Teaching Excellence Award is the largest award to recognize teaching excellence in higher education and we’re very sure that this is the largest award nationally to recognize teaching in higher education,” said Lamar University President Jaime Taylor. “Dr. Gina Hale is only the fourth member in the history of Lamar University to be recognized for this award and she will forever retain the title.”

Hale has served Lamar University for 18 years as a nurse educator. In 2019, she was appointed the Director of Undergraduate Nursing Studies and Student Retention which includes leading and overseeing the implementation of curricula across the undergraduate nursing program.

When asked about her teaching philosophy, she said, “throughout my time at Lamar University my personal teaching philosophy has remained the same: My overarching philosophy of teaching is that of service and a “do unto others” approach. I value honesty, trust, humility, humor, lifelong learning, and a scrupulous work ethic. I believe in recognizing the potential in all nursing students and encouraging them to fulfill their dreams.”

Sarah Roden, a former student of Hale’s, had this to say about her, “Her skill as a teacher is greatly complimented by her passion for nursing and teaching, as well as her drive to see students succeed. I cannot remember a time she didn't come to the classroom being cheerful. Though her classes were challenging, she was very encouraging to students and ready to assist them outside class hours as she clarified content and guided students in studying.”

Hale has received numerous awards including Inspirational Woman Award by LU Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Lamar University College of Art and Sciences 2021 Spring Research Competition Award, Partners in Access Award from the Disability Resource Center Recognition for Outstanding Support of Students with Disabilities, two Excellence in Research Grant/Award from the Texas Organization of Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing Education, Daisy Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence, and the Teaching Innovation Award from the Texas Organization of Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing Education.

Her research and publications include topics such as: "Mentoring up:  A grounded theory of nurse-to-nurse mentoring", "Conceptualizing the mentoring relationship: An appraisal of evidence", "Community resilience after hurricanes: Can Neuman’s Systems Model guide public health nursing?", "Increasing student involvement in research: A collaborative approach between faculty and students", and many more.

About David J. Beck:

Through a generous gift to the Lamar University Foundation, David J. Beck established the teaching excellence award and undergraduate fellowships for students with high academic performance in any discipline.

Beck, who has been recognized by several publications as one of the top lawyers in the state, region and nation, is a founding partner of Beck Redden in Houston, a premier litigation boutique firm. He has served as president of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Association of Defense Counsel and the State Bar of Texas.

A 1961 Lamar University graduate and distinguished alumnus, Beck has served as president of the Lamar University Foundation and a regent of the Lamar University System. A Port Arthur native whose father worked at a refinery and mother worked to raise five children, Beck credits the university with giving him the opportunity to attend college and gain a foundation for future success.