World-class instruction

Nine professors receive inaugural UT System award for undergraduate teaching excellence

For music Professor Elizabeth Morrow, the rewards of teaching come in many forms. She liked the extra money when she began teaching cello at age 15, after six years of playing the instrument. Today, after 18 years at UT Arlington, her former students send their students to her summer camp, the Texas Cello Academy. Her students inquire about the process of teaching so they can pass on their passion for music and learning the way she has.

Elizabeth Morrow

Elizabeth Morrow founded the Texas Cello Academy and has toured extensively in North America.

“You have to love learning how to do it. The practicing part, the analyzing of what goes into successful playing,” Dr. Morrow explains. “My teachers embraced that, and my students embraced that.”

She is one of nine UT Arlington faculty members selected as inaugural recipients of the UT System Board of Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards. They are among 73 faculty members from nine UT System academic institutions to receive the new honor and share in $2 million.

“It’s a tribute to our faculty,” UT Arlington Provost Donald Bobbitt says. “We have exceptional faculty who care about their educational mission.”

The awards carry a prize of $15,000 to $30,000 depending on level of experience and are believed to be among the highest in the country for rewarding outstanding undergraduate faculty performance and innovation.

“We have exceptional faculty who care about their educational mission.”

The regents established the awards in August 2008 as the latest in a series of UT System-launched initiatives aimed at fostering innovative approaches to teaching, research and commercialization endeavors at all 15 UT System institutions. Candidates for the teaching awards were nominated by their respective institutions. Assessment criteria included student and peer evaluations, teaching portfolio (which includes pedagogical innovation and teaching objectives) and student learning outcomes.

“These awards demonstrate our commitment to maintaining excellence in our classrooms and send a clear message to our campus communities that we value exceptional performance and innovation,” says James R. Huffines, chairman of the Board of Regents.

Other UT Arlington recipients:

Norman Cobb. An associate professor of social work, Dr. Cobb is a six-time winner of the University’s Torgerson Award for teaching excellence, chosen by graduate students, and the 2007 recipient of the Bachelor of Social Work Teaching Award, given by undergraduates.

Minerva Cordero-Epperson. An associate professor of mathematics in the College of Science, Dr. Cordero-Epperson garnered a $3 million grant this spring from the National Science Foundation to build interest among junior high and high school students in math.

Mary Lynn Crow. A professor of curriculum and instruction in the College of Education and Health Professions, Dr. Crow has won each of the University’s three major teaching awards and numerous others. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist.

Doreen Elliott. A professor of social work, Dr. Elliott brings a global approach to her students. A former teacher at the University of Wales, she chairs the Council on Social Work Education’s global education commission and teaches a wide range of classes.

Jennifer Gray. A professor of nursing and associate dean of the School of Nursing’s doctoral program, Dr. Gray has provided nursing education workshops in the Dominican Republic and Tanzania. She is the George W. and Hazel M. Jay Professor of Nursing.

Larry Nelson. An assistant professor of kinesiology in the College of Education and Health Professions, Dr. Nelson puts fun in fitness with projects such as the Dancing Classrooms North Texas program and a course on Teaching Games for Understanding.

Jimmy Rogers. A senior lecturer of chemistry and biochemistry in the College of Science, Dr. Rogers researches chemistry education and has received the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Outstanding Academic Faculty Adviser Award.

David Silva. A professor of linguistics in the College of Liberal Arts and vice provost for academic affairs, Dr. Silva is the founding president of UT Arlington’s chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. He is a recipient of the Gertrude Golladay Memorial Award for Outstanding Teaching.

Cobb, Cordero-Epperson, Crow, Elliott, Gray, Morrow and Silva are members of UT Arlington’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

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