Texas A&M-Commerce Faculty Selected for Prestigious Teaching Award

Dr. Allan Headley, a professor of chemistry at Texas A&M University-Commerce, is among 10 faculty in the state selected as a 2024 Piper Professor.

The Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation presents the annual design in recognition of outstanding achievement in the teaching profession at colleges and universities in Texas.

He is in elite company as only the sixth A&M-Commerce faculty to receive the prestigious award since its inception in 1958, and the first since Dr. Stuart Anderson's selection in 2006.

Headley earned his bachelor's in chemistry from Washington Adventist University in 1976. He received a doctorate in chemistry from Howard University in 1982 and a post-doctorate in chemistry from the University of California, Irvine, in 1983.

Following stops at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, the University of California, Irvine, and a 15-year stint at Texas Tech University, Headley arrived at A&M-Commerce in 2004 as a chemistry professor and dean of Graduate Studies and Research. He served as interim head of the Department of Chemistry from 2014 to 2015.

During his time at A&M-Commerce, Headley has been honored with numerous awards for his work as a professor, researcher and mentor. He considers publishing his textbook, “Organic Chemistry: Concepts and Applications,” in 2020 as one of his most rewarding accomplishments.

Chemist performing experiment
A&M-Commerce chemistry professor Dr. Allan Headley feels right at home when conducting experiments in the lab. | Texas A&M University-Commerce Office of Marketing and Communications.

Headley has held numerous higher education roles, but teaching is the most rewarding, he said. He's taught hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students at A&M-Commerce. He believes his chemistry courses help prepare students for the workforce by imparting problem-solving skills and helping them think critically and creatively.

“It is truly an honor to join this group of very distinguished Texas educators. I am indebted to my colleagues who nominated me for this award,” Headley said. “It is really a pleasure and an opportunity to work with the students at A&M-Commerce. I am passionate about teaching chemistry and mentoring students in their research.”

Along with the title of Piper Professor, Headley will receive a certificate of merit, a gold pin and a $5,000 honorarium. A&M-Commerce will announce a date to honor Headley at a luncheon on campus in the fall.

Discover a wide range of careers in the growing field of chemical sciences with undergraduate and graduate degree programs available through the Department of Chemistry at A&M-Commerce.