Nilakshi Veerabathina, lecturer in physics, is among seven UT Arlington faculty members to be honored this year by The University of Texas System Board of Regents for excellence in the classroom.
In all, 65 educators from across the UT System were honored and will share $1.8 million in awards and were honored August 22 during a special ceremony in Austin.
"I am humbled by the honor and I believe it corroborates my teaching philosophy," Veerabathina said. "The Department of Physics and the College of Science at UT Arlington have provided an academic environment that helped me channel my enthusiasm and utilize my knowledge and teaching skills in a uniquely effective way, and I feel thankful to everyone at UT Arlington that has made it possible for me to receive this prestigious award."
The UT System award isn't the first to recognize Veerabathina for her teaching excellence. Last year, she was received the UT Arlington Faculty Service Learning Award, which is given to faculty members for innovations in engaged scholarship that integrates service learning into the curriculum.
"My teaching philosophy is guided by the ideal of service to students in particular and society in general. I believe that a teacher who can identify the individual learning needs of the students and serves such needs can positively influence the students for the rest of their lives," she said. "As a teacher of astronomy, my purpose is to motivate my students to be self-directed, excited and engaged in a process of lifelong learning and critical thinking that will help them succeed in a knowledge-driven world and contribute to the scientific advancement of the society.
"My constant endeavor is to help students understand science as a creative human activity which allows development of new technologies that offer solutions to numerous practical problems confronting the society."
Alex Weiss, professor and chair of the UT Arlington Department of Physics, said the honor is fitting recognition of Veerabathina's commitment to instill a love of learning and of helping others in her students.
"This award is well-deserved and is an excellent acknowledgement of Dr. Veerabathina's teaching," Weiss said. "She is a great motivator and her emphasis on service learning is a tremendous asset to the department and the University."
UT Arlington Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ron Elsenbaumer said the honorees were selected based on recommendations from department chairs, deans and committees.
"They are successful in the classroom because they challenge students and cultivate the quest for learning," Elsenbaumer said. "They set their students on a path to success."
In addition to Veerabathina, UT Arlington honorees include: Elisabeth Cawthon, history; Christopher Conway, modern languages; Jonathan Davis-Secord, English; Victoria Farrar-Myers, political science; K.J. (Jamie) Rogers, engineering; and Kathleen Tice, education.
A complete list of winners and their institutions is available on the UT System website here
. For a video tribute to this year's recipients, click here
The honors come with a $25,000 cash award and recognize faculty members at UT System academic institutions who demonstrate extraordinary classroom performance and innovation at the undergraduate level. The event marks the program's fourth year.
"We have a responsibility as a board to support, encourage and reward our