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UT Tyler Faculty Awards Presented at 2014-15 Convocation

August 22, 2014

Media Contact:  Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.565.5769 or 903.539.7196 (cell)

The University of Texas at Tyler officials presented faculty awards during the 2014-15 Opening Convocation Aug. 22, President Rodney H. Mabry announced.

“We are honored to have faculty members who are innovative thinkers, great professors and true experts in their fields of study. We are proud to recognize some of those faculty for their outstanding dedication,” President Mabry said.

Recipients and their awards are:

  • Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award – Dr. Christina Graves, assistant professor of mathematics.

This honor recognizes the nominee’s overall commitment and excellence in undergraduate teaching among UT System faculty members. Nominees are recommended by the President of each UT System and are reviewed by an external committee comprised of academic administrators, faculty, students and the UT System Board of Regents.

Graves is among 96 System-wide educators who will each receive a $25,000 award in recognition of their extraordinary classroom performance and innovation at the undergraduate level.

“Our excellence in teaching faculty is a critical part of the System’s vision of an institution of the first class. These awards are a reflection of the Regents placing the highest priority on undergraduate, graduate and professional teaching excellence System-wide,” said UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa.

  • President’s Scholarly Achievement Award – Dr. Dennis Cali, professor and chair of communication.

This award recognizes outstanding scholarly achievements by a faculty member. Selections are made by a university committee.

  • Provost’s Excellence in Teaching Award – Dr. Laura Boyd, senior lecturer in chemistry; Dr. Lance Williams, associate professor of biology; and Merrie Wright, associate professor and interim chair and of art and art history.

The Provost’s Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes faculty whose excellence in undergraduate teaching resulted in their nomination for the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award.

  • Jack and Dorothy Faye White Fellowship for Teaching Excellence – Dr. Julie Delello, assistant professor of education; and Dr. Marsha Matthews, assistant professor of journalism.

This honor recognizes excellence in teaching. Nominations are made by both university faculty and students.

  • 2014-15 Piper Professor nominee and White Fellowship for Teaching Excellence – Matthews.

This honor focuses on the nominee’s overall excellence in both teaching and scholarly achievement at UT Tyler. Nominees are made by UT Tyler faculty and become the university’s candidate for the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation Excellence in Teaching award, which annually recognizes 15 professors for superior teaching at the college level in Texas. This nominee also automatically receives UT Tyler’s White Fellowship.

Officials also recognized Dr. Neil Gray, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, who was named to the UT System Academy of Distinguished Teachers earlier this year.

The Academy of Distinguished Teachers was created in 2013 to recognize outstanding educators at UT System’s nine academic institutions, and all members must be past recipients of the Regents’ award. Academy members serve as a System-level advocacy group dedicated to enhancing teaching, fostering innovation in the classroom and promoting interdisciplinary perspectives on education.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler features excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 7,500 high-ability students. UT Tyler offers courses at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine as well as a location in Houston.

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