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12 Good Reads from 2020

As we begin the new year, we invite you to take a look back at 12 stories worth celebrating from 2020.

By Mia Mercer ‘23 and Rachel Knight ‘18

Though it wasn’t the year we expected it to be, 2020 is a year we will not soon forget. Faculty, students, former students, and staff members in the College of Liberal Arts put their talents to use to help solve some of our greatest challenges. 

We invite you to revisit 12 of our top stories from 2020. Take a moment to re-celebrate triumphs like Katy Caldwell ‘07 graduating after taking a 12-year break from her studies. Re-share the excitement of national recognition of Stephen Maren’s PTSD research as one of the top 10 health innovations of the year. Remind yourself of a fellow Aggie’s success by revisiting the announcement of Caleb McDaniel winning the Pulitzer Prize in history. 

Join us in remembering moments worth celebrating in a year unlike any other. 

PTSD Research Named Among top 10 Health Innovations


Stephen Maren of the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences had research that was named one of Health Innovations’ renowned top 10 health innovations.

Blazing a Trail with FIG

The College of Liberal Arts’ Freshman Innovation Group (FIG) created a community to make all of the “firsts” a little less daunting for trailblazing first-gen student.

A Student’s Story: A Celebration of the Student-Faculty Bond

The Academic Building with statue of Sullivan Ross in front of it

In this guest post, senior communication student Alyssa Johnson ’20 shared a meaningful difference a College of Liberal Arts faculty member made in her life.

Former Student Named 2020 Distinguished Alumni

Charean Williams ’86

Former student and Pro Football Hall of Fame writer Charean Williams ’86 was recently named a Distinguished Alumni, the highest honor bestowed on Texas A&M University former students.

Managing COVID-19 Anxieties

Photo from Unsplash.

A psychological and brain sciences professor gave us tips to help manage anxiety and regulate our emotions during the global pandemic. By using these tips, we are able to help others cope with anxiety brought on by the virus, which is a triumph for Aggies.

Former Student Wins 2020 Pulitzer Prize in History

Portrait of Dr. McDaniel '00, '01 (MA).

Dr. Caleb McDaniel ’00, ’01 (MA) won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in History.

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Texas A&M former student Caleb McDaniel ‘00, ‘01 (M.A.) shares Henrietta Wood’s story, which sheds light on what life was like for Black women in America in the 19th century.

A Closer Look at the Supreme Court’s LGBTQIA+ Ruling

What the Supreme Court’s recent LGBTQIA+ worker decision means and what it tells us about the future.

Worth the Wait

Graduation cap that says, "Part of the journey is the end."

Katy Caldwell ’07 proves that what feels like the end is often the beginning.

After taking a 12-year break from college, Katy Caldwell ‘07 graduated in August 2020. Her story is full of ups, downs, and lots of Aggie spirit.

Philosophy Professor Earns Top Teaching Honor

Headshot of Claire Katz

Claire Katz, professor of philosophy and Murray and Celeste Fasken Chair in Distinguished Teaching in the College of Liberal Arts, was named a recipient of the 2020 Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence Award, the most prestigious faculty honor bestowed by Texas A&M.

New Clues Revealed about Clovis People

Clovis spear points from the Gault site in Texas.

Clovis spear points from the Gault site in Texas. Photo courtesy of the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M.

A study by professor Michael Waters shows that tools made by some of North America’s earliest inhabitants were made only during a 300-year period.

Faculty Member Wins Prestigious Award for Contributions to Diversity and Inclusion

Photo of Dr. Carter-Sowell.

The Shapiro Faculty Award from The Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) recognizes Carter-Sowell’s work.

Former Student Appointed to White House Senior Communication Staff

Photo of Elizabeth Alexander.

Elizabeth Alexander ‘01 will make history as one of seven ladies on the first all-female White House senior communication staff.