Faculty Profile for Dr. Erika Nielson Vargas

profile photo for Dr. Erika Nielson Vargas
Dr. Erika Nielson Vargas
Senior Lecturer — University College
UAC 128
phone: (512) 245-3579

Biography Section

Biography and Education

Erika K. Nielson, Ph.D., is the Director of the Common Experience, Common Reading Coordinator, New Student Convocation Chair, and Senior Lecturer in University College. She received a B.A. in Anthropology from Texas A&M University, an M.A. in Reading Education from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, and a Ph.D. in Developmental Education, Literacy Specialization from Texas State University. Dr. Nielson is also a yoga student of 24 years and a yoga teacher of 20 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 skills

Research Interests

Literacy, Mindfulness practices, Mental Health, Music & Literacy, Common reading, Reading practices

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