Dr. Cindy Royal named 2022 Teaching Award of Honor recipient by Alumni Association

Featured Faculty

Madigan Minihan | June 16, 2022

cindy royal headshot

The Texas State Alumni Association has selected Dr. Cindy Royal, professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, as the 2022 Teaching Award of Honor recipient.

This award is presented annually to a Texas State professor, lecturer, associate professor, assistant professor, or instructor nominated by their peers and past students. All nominees are evaluated on excellence in instructional delivery and design, subject matter and competency, and the impact on student success.  

In a heartfelt letter of support Jon Zmikly (M.A. ’09), a former student and now colleague shared his thoughts on why Royal deserved the award. "Her strong passion for digital media and journalism is outmatched only by her passion for teaching," said Zmikly. "In such a transformative time for the media industry, Dr. Royal's teaching is among the most significant in our school, college, and university."

This display of excellence in instructional delivery and design is felt throughout Royal's courses. Mass communication graduate, Ashley Hebler (M.A. '12), shared the professor’s impact on her life. "I can't begin to express how grateful I am for Dr. Royal and her commitment to seeing students reach their full potential," Hebler said. "Cindy was instrumental in helping me land two dream jobs."

In addition to developing over 12 courses at Texas State, Royal played a prominent role in spearheading the Bachelor of Science in Digital Media Innovation (DMI), a new degree program that began in August 2016. As of the spring 2022 semester, more than 315 students have enrolled in the degree program.

"The DMI major truly immerses students into this digital world, giving them versatility and a huge range of skills to prepare them for new and emerging roles in this field," said former student and now Microsoft employee Danielle Molinar (B.S.' 18). 

Even after students graduate, Royal continues to push for their success.

"I can't tell you how many job recommendations and applications Cindy sent me when I was getting ready to graduate," Molinar said. "As well as how many times she's checked in (with me) since starting my career."

Royal has received many notable awards, including Top 50 Social Media Savvy Professors in America, the Everette Swinney Faculty Senate Teaching Award (twice), and the Gene Barnwell Waugh Mentor Award. 

The Teaching Award of Honor will be presented during the Faculty Convocation in the fall. 

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922