Faculty Profile for Dr. Erika Nielson Vargas

profile photo for Dr. Erika Nielson Vargas
Dr. Erika Nielson Vargas
Senior Lecturer — University College
UAC 140
phone: (512) 245-3579

Biography Section

Biography and Education

Erika K. Nielson, Ph.D., is the assistant director of the Common Experience, Common Reading Coordinator, and Senior Lecturer in University College. She received a B.A. in Anthropology from Texas A&M University, an M.A. in Reading from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, and Ph.D. in Developmental Education, Literacy Specialization from Texas State University. Dr. Nielson is also a yoga student of 23 years and a yoga teacher of 19 years. Her research focus includes educators and students in pre-kindergarten through higher education engaging in mindfulness, self-compassion, and yoga practices, and their understanding and observations of those practices, as well as the literacy practices of adult learners.

Teaching Interests

Reading, Writing, Integrated Reading & Writing, Literacy, Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Study Skills, University Seminar, First Year Experience, Career Planning

Research Interests

Literacy, Mindfulness practices, Mental Health, Music & Literacy

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Marquiss, T., & Nielson Vargas, E. K. (Eds.). (2018). Common Reading Faculty Guide 2018-19: The Runaway Species by David Eagleman and Anthony Brandt. San Marcos, TX: Common Experience.
  • Coordinator, Soloist, Yakona. 2016.
    • Yakona with Live Score. 2016 Texas State University Alkek Theater, San Marcos, TX.

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Recipient: Texas State Quarterly Team Award, Texas State University. August 2018 - December 2018
  • Award / Honor Recipient: 3MT Runner Up, 3MT. 2017
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Graduate Essay Contest Winner, Texas State University Writing Center & English Department. 2016 - 2017
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Oustanding Reading Graduate Student, The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. 2013
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Dean's Honor Roll, The University of Texas at San Antonio College of Liberal Arts. 2001 - 2003

Selected Grants

  • Nielson, Erika, Marquiss, Twister. Arts Respond Performance Support Grant for Big Bend film screening + live score performance, Texas Commission on the Arts, State, $1250. (Funded: April 8, 2019). Grant.

Selected Service Activities

Common Experience Mini-Grants Committee
August 2017-Present
Common Reading Selection Committee
June 2017-Present
Common Reading Instructor's Materials Committee
Common Reading Selection Committee
May 2018-May 2019
Common Reading Selection Committee