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Claire Katz, PhD

2020-21 Piper Professor

Professor of Philosophy and the Murray and Celeste Fasken Chair in Distinguished Teaching and an Associate Dean of Faculties

Texas A&M University faculty member Claire Katz, a professor of philosophy, has been named 2020-21 Piper Professor. Since 1958, the award has been given annually by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation to 10 professors for their superior teaching at the college level in the state of Texas.

The Piper Professor Award recognizes faculty for outstanding academic, scientific, and scholarly achievement and for dedication to the teaching profession. The awards are intended to provide increased recognition of teaching excellence.

Katz, a professor in the College of Liberal Arts, said she focuses on creating an intellectual community, in which students learn from the professor and from each other.

“It is in and through an intellectual community that students mature into passionate learners, responsible students, independent thinkers and respectful interlocutors,” Katz said.

She models these high expectations each day for her students and colleagues. She said critical thinking and civil discourse are two skill sets important for society and are emphasized in her classroom.

In her nomination, one student said Katz was a great professor because, “She values her students’ opinions, even if they are different from hers and she creates an environment where everyone can be comfortable speaking up.”

Each Piper Professor receives a certificate of merit, a gold pin and an honorarium. The award has highlighted professors from two and four-year colleges and universities, both public and private.

For more information about the Piper Professor visit