Dr. Ilka Araújo is a music professor at Texas Wesleyan University that inspires all who cross her path. Dr. A, as her students like to call her, continuously strives to be an influence in her students' and colleagues' lives — and she is definitely that. Today, we congratulate Dr. Araújo for receiving one of the highest levels of promotions that she could receive — full professor. We got to sit down and speak with Dr. A about how she feels about this promotion.
How do you feel about this accomplishment and what does it mean to you?
Dr. A: "It is really a big accomplishment. It is important for me and the University. It's a good reference for the students. It is the highest ranking that a professor can receive. You have to put a portfolio of work together, and it is a lot of work. It not only shows one's commitment to their career and profession, and wanting to achieve a high level, but it is the dedication and time spent on putting your profile together. That requires determination, resilience, and in a way, a sense of leadership. You should serve as a model to others. My goal is to show that we should never be satisfied with the minimum. We should always be seeking and learning more, and never settle."
How many years have you worked for the university?
Dr. A: “I joined Texas Wesleyan in 2009 and taught as an adjunct for two years. Then they opened my position for full-time tenured track. I applied and ended up instated as a full-time assistant professor in 2011. In 2016, I got my tenure, which is the first step in this line of promotions, and I moved up from assistant to associate professor. Again, in this process to tenure, I had to show a portfolio of work proving to be well-known nationally and internationally. It also needs to show excellence in teaching. The next promotion cannot happen for another five years, and again, one has to submit a whole revised portfolio to the University and the committee of work accomplished since the last promotion. I submitted my portfolio of work since 2016, and I am very glad that I had worked hard before COVID-19, because once the pandemic hit, everything stopped and it was very difficult to put together concerts and conferences. I am glad I had worked hard so that this promotion could happen."
Any other comments you would like to include?
Dr. A: “I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to my success here at TXWES. It is really my devotion to my students that makes everything happen. I would like my main message to be that one should not accept the status quo, to not do just the minimum — we should always want more. It keeps us alive and searching for the best in all of ourselves. That will hopefully serve as an inspiration to my students and colleagues. I would like to inspire them to keep active in their scholarship, teaching excellence and service. There is not ever and end, you keep going!"