On May 1, 2023, the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation announced the selection of Texas A&M University-San Antonio Regents Professor of History Edward B. Westermann as a Piper Professor of 2023. Westermann is one of 10 professors awarded the distinction in the State of Texas. Selections are based on nominations submitted by each college or university in Texas and 10 awards of $5,000 each are bestowed annually to outstanding professors for their exceptional teaching at the collegiate level.
“As someone who believes in the power of teaching, I’m deeply honored to be part of a group that is being recognized for its interactions with students,” said Westermann. “All teachers are part of a river that keeps flowing. I’m a reflection of the teachers who taught me and influenced my love of history. In 30 or 40 years, I may not be around, but how I taught my students will shape the way that they think about history and how some of them teach their own students.”
Begun in 1958 with eight awards, the roster of Piper Professors includes remarkable professors from two- and four-year colleges and universities, public and private. Participation is by invitation only. To be eligible, candidates must be nominated through the college or university’s Office of the President. Each Piper Professor receives a certificate of merit, a gold pin, and an honorarium. Last year, A&M-SA Associate Professor of Biology and Biology Program Coordinator Dr. Megan Wise de Valdez was named a Piper Professor, which marked the first time an A&M-San Antonio professor had received the distinction while at the University.
“I am thrilled to have Professor Edward B. Westermann named as our second Piper Professor,” said Dr. Debra Feakes, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The award recognizes his many contributions inside and outside of the classroom and is a testament to the quality of our faculty and the incredible impact that our faculty have on our students. Professor Westermann is a world-renowned scholar and exemplifies the commitment to the teacher-scholar model that is present at our growing and thriving university.”
Following a 25-year career with the United States Air Force, during which time he served as a professor and colonel in command of the USAF Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base, Westermann started at Texas A&M-San Antonio in 2010 as an Associate Professor of History. He was named Director of International Education in 2014 and then Regent Professor of History the following year. He was inducted into Texas A&M University-System Chancellor’s Academy of Teacher Educators in 2018.
Westermann’s current areas of research include the Holocaust, genocide studies, Nazi Germany, World War II and military theory. He received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Westermann’s newest book, “Drunk with Genocide: Alcohol and Mass Murder in Nazi Germany” was published in 2021.