Wagner named Distinguished Alumna by TCU

By Jan Jarvis

2020 Teresa Wagner Headshot

Teresa Wagner hoped to thank the many people who helped her throughout her life in person during a luncheon honoring her as the recipient of the Texas Christian University Distinguished Alumni award.

But Covid-19 changed her plans.

“I would love to list everyone here as I had intended to do at the luncheon but realize that would be too verbose,” said Wagner, DrPH, Assistant Professor of Lifestyle Health Sciences. “I’m thankful and proud that I have been able to use the opportunity that TCU provided me all of those years ago in a productive manner and ‘give back’ to the very community and state in which I grew up.”

The daughter of a single mom, Dr. Wagner said she grew up poor in Fort Worth and was a part of what today people call an “underserved population.” The minority scholarship that she received to TCU was life changing, Dr. Wagner said.

“It was the people that I met along the way, that helped me overcome the barriers in my life, not unlike the social barriers that I work to combat today,” she said.

She went on to become a registered and licensed dietician, certified community health worker instructor, and health coach. Dr. Wagner completed her Doctoral Residency at the University of Texas Center for Health Communication and Literacy Coalition of Central Texas (LCCT) and served for two years as the Director of Health Literacy.

Dr. Wagner has taken the sum of all her learnings and experiences from TCU and created a local, state and national movement to improve health literacy and patient safety, said Jessica Rangel, Vice Provost for Academic Innovation.

“Teresa is an exceptionally driven individual with a deep passion to make the world a better place,” she said. “Her efforts are already spreading throughout the state, impacting maternal mortality, teen literacy and asthma care in school-aged children.”

Dr. Wagner said she is humbled and honored to receive the Texas Christian University Distinguished Alumni Award. First presented in 1954, the award honors an alumna whose career and endeavors have achieved national prominence in a particular field.

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