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For immediate use

Feb. 12, 2003 -- No. 89

Photo note: To download available photos of the winners, see bottom of page.

UNC honors teaching awards recipients

CHAPEL HILL -- The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has selected winners of the 2003 Teaching Awards, the highest campuswide recognition for teaching excellence.

Winners were recognized earlier this week during half-time of the UNC-Virginia men's basketball game. The winners, chosen in nine separate categories, also will be recognized by Chancellor James Moeser at an awards banquet later this spring.

Except for recipients in three categories, the University Committee on Teaching Awards chose this year's winners.

"There is no doubt that teaching is a highly valued activity on this campus," said Cathy Nielson, who chaired the selection committee and is clinical professor and director of the Division of Occupational Science and Division of Rehabilitation Psychology and Counseling in the School of Medicine's department of allied health.

"We read poignant stories of the impact a faculty member has had on the life or career of a single student and equally compelling stories of the lifelong dedication of faculty to generations of Carolina students," she said. "A common thread in all of these stories is that teachers at Carolina are passionate about their work, demanding of themselves and their students and committed to not only sharing information but developing the capacity of students to take that information and change the world. Our 2003 award recipients continue the tradition of teaching excellence at Carolina."

The Tanner Faculty Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching go to five faculty members, with each receiving a one-time stipend of $5,000 and a framed citation. Winners are: Dr. Christopher Armitage, professor, department of English; Dr. Gary Bishop, associate professor, department of computer science; Dr. Bernard Boxill, professor, department of philosophy; Dr. Larry Goldberg, lecturer, department of English; and Boone Turchi, assistant professor, department of economics.

These awards recognize excellence in inspirational teaching of undergraduate students, preferably with respect to influence on first- and second-year students. They were created in 1952 with a bequest by Kenneth S. Tanner, a member of the class of 1911, and his sister, Sara Tanner Crawford, establishing an endowment fund in memory of their parents, Lola Spencer and Simpson Bobo Tanner.

Carolina expanded the scope of the Tanner faculty awards in 1990 to recognize excellence in the teaching of undergraduates by graduate teaching assistants. The Tanner Teaching Assistants' Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching go to five graduate teaching assistants. Each winner receives a one-time stipend of $1,000 and a framed citation. Winners are: Jen Ashlock, department of sociology; Yaacov Ben-Shemesh, department of philosophy; Richard Landesberg, School of Journalism and Mass Communication; Maureen Reissner O'Brian, department of art; and Kathleen Theyson, department of economics.

The William C. Friday/Class of 1986 Award for Excellence in Teaching honors one undergraduate faculty member who receives a one-time stipend determined by available funding and a framed citation. Dr. Arrel Toews, research professor in the department of biochemistry and biophysics, School of Medicine, is this year's recipient.

This award, created with a gift from the class of 1986, honors full-time undergraduate faculty members who have exemplified excellence in inspirational teaching. Friday, the award's namesake, has devoted a lifetime of service to public higher education as UNC system president and now as University Distinguished Professor on the Carolina campus.

Dr. Richard H. Kohn, professor in the department of history and chair of the curriculum in peace, war and defense, has been selected for the John L. Sanders Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Service and will receive a one-time stipend of $5,000 and a framed citation. The award recognizes excellence in the teaching, advising and mentoring of undergraduate students in a manner consistent with the life and values of Sanders, longtime director of the UNC Institute of Government, now part of Carolina's School of Government.

The award was created in 1995 by Ben M. Jones III to honor Sanders, who has worked since his own undergraduate days to improve student life and governance. He also has advised generations of students and counseled effective political action and pursuit of constructive change.

 Dr. Paul W. Leslie, professor in the department of anthropology, has been tapped for the J. Carlyle Sitterson Freshman Teaching Award, which goes to a faculty member teaching first-year students. The winner receives a one-time stipend of $5,000 and a framed citation.

This award was created in 1998 by the family of the late J. Carlyle Sitterson to recognize excellence in freshman teaching by a tenured or tenure-track faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences. Sitterson, a Kenan professor of history and Carolina chancellor from 1966 to 1972, was a passionate advocate for inspired teaching of freshman.

The Johnston Teaching Excellence Award goes to two faculty members for excellence in undergraduate teaching. Each winner receives $5,000 and a framed citation. Winners are: Dr. James Thompson, professor and chair, department of English; and Dr. Ivana Vuletic, assistant professor, department of Slavic languages. Created in 1991, these awards are funded by the James M. Johnston Scholarship Program, which provides need-based scholarships to the university.

The Teaching Awards for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction go to four full-time faculty members. Each winner receives a one-time stipend of $5,000 and a framed citation. Winners are: Dr. Debashis Aikat, professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication; Dr. Barbara Entwisle, professor, department of sociology; Dr. Ken Hillis, professor, department of communication studies; and Dr. Glenn Hinson, professor, department of anthropology and curriculum in folklore. This award was first given by the university in 1995 to recognize the important role of post-baccalaureate teaching.

Daphne Athas, lecturer in the department of English, has received the Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement, which acknowledges a broader range of "teaching beyond the classroom." The winner receives a one-time stipend of $1,000 and a framed citation. Created in 1997, this award acknowledges the importance of activities beyond teaching and learning, particularly mentoring outside the classroom. It rewards those who help students to develop and attain their potential. Dean Smith, longtime coach of the men's basketball team, was the first winner.

This year's Carolina nominee for the UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching is Dr. Judy Miller, a professor in the School of Nursing. Established by the Board of Governors in April 1994 to underscore the importance of teaching and to reward good teaching across the UNC system, the awards are given annually to a tenured faculty member from each UNC campus and will be formally announced at a March Board of Governors meeting. Nominees, who each receive a $7,500 stipend and a bronze medallion, will be honored at a luncheon this spring.

For five of the nine categories, the University Committee on Teaching Awards chose this year's winners from nominations submitted last fall. Separate committees in the College of Arts and Sciences chose winners of the Sanders and Sitterson awards, working closely with the campuswide committee. Fellows in the Johnston Scholarship Program nominated and selected the Johnston Award winners and worked with the campuswide committee.

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Photo urls: To download photos of the award recipients, who are listed alphabetically, go to the following urls:'brien_maureen.jpg

( Note: No photo is available of Boxhill.)

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