Byron ‘Doc’ Augustin has filled Texas State hallways with humor, wisdom and unique stories for the past 32 years.
Augustin, regents’ professor in the department of geography, is a published author and photographer. His photographs and stories from different countries have enhanced his lectures.
“The fact I’ve traveled a lot is an important part of what I do as a teacher,” Augustin said. “Students comprehend concepts better with the use of visual material.”
Augustin said he picked up photography as an enjoyable way to capture his travels.
“I can look at a picture I took 35 years ago and tell you exactly where it was taken,” Augustin said. “Immediately I’m reconnected with something that happened as much as 30 or 40 years ago.”
Augustin teaches an introduction to world geography course every semester and hopes to inspire freshmen similar to how his first geography professor taught him.
“He was the most fantastic teacher I ever had,” Augustin said.
Augustin started teaching as a graduate student.
“Within a month I realized I wanted to be a college teacher,” Augustin said.
Augustin began teaching at Northwest Missouri State University after receiving his doctorate. A former colleague then invited him to Southwest Texas State University.
“I was on campus for about two hours, and I fell in love,” Augustin said. “We drove through Sewell in late April, and the banks were lined with students.”
Augustin said he was amazed the university campus had a river running through it.
“It was the best decision I ever made,” Augustin said. “I love Texas State and I love the students. They’re fun to teach, they have a good sense of humor and I like teasing them.”
Augustin’s office walls are lined with awards received for his teaching merit. Some of those include Regents’ Professor, Who’s Who Among American Teachers and favorite professor from several fraternities and sororities.
Augustin has photographed and published books examining multiple countries.
“I have visited 54 countries and 49 states,” Augustine said. “I have enjoyed every country I have visited.”
Augustin’s favorite countries include Switzerland, South Africa and Peru.
“Certainly the most fascinating place I have ever visited was Machu Picchu,” Augustin said. “It’s beyond what you can even imagine.”
Augustin plans to continue his travels when he retires.
“I definitely want to go to Alaska,” Augustin said. “I want to say I’ve been to every state.”
Augustin retires after this semester.
“My wife and I bought a home in the Yucatan,” Augustin said.
Augustin led study abroad trips to the Yucatan 16 times.
“It’s my favorite place to take students,” Augustin said. “It’s easy to adjust to a foreign culture there. I want to get to know the Yucatan like I know Texas.”
Augustin’s plans were pushed back a few months when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Doctors realized the cancer had metastasized to other parts of his body when they removed his tumor.
Augustin begins radiation this month.
“It doesn’t bother me very much,” Augustin said. “I’m very optimistic, and I believe in the power of prayer. I’ve had an extraordinary, wonderful life. I can hardly believe people paid me to do what I did.”