Two professors receive top teaching awards

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2021

By Valerie Fields Hill 

School of Social Work

Diane Mitschke          Rachel Voth-Schrag 
              Diane Mitschke          Rachel Voth Schrag


Two Social Work professors were honored for their outstanding contributions to student learning during a celebration earlier this month.


Social Work Associate Professor Diane Mitschke was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.


Dr. Mitschke is associate dean for academic and student affairs in the School of Social Work. She teaches Inequities and Incarceration and has taught Diverse Populations and Thesis Research, among other courses.


“For me, this award is so special because it means I’ll be joining some of the UTA faculty who have served as my mentors and exemplified truly excellent teaching,” Dr. Mitschke said. “Through teaching, I can help students open doors to new paradigms and new ways of seeing the world.


“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to teach in the School of Social Work at UTA and look forward to learning more and giving back through my membership in the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.”


Social Work Assistant Professor Rachel Voth Schrag was honored with the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching-Untenured, said Diane M. Lange, chair of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers in an earlier statement.


“Being recognized by our students and faculty means a great deal to me,” said Dr. Voth Schrag, who teaches Intimate Partner Violence, Thesis Research and Dissertation courses.


“Over the past year I have repeatedly witnessed our students, faculty, and staff find new ways to support and encourage each other,” said Dr. Voth Schrag, who joined the faculty in 2017. “It has been inspiring to work with students and colleagues as we have figured out ways to make teaching and learning more accessible.”


Both professors’ contributions were recognized during the Spring Meeting of the University Faculty and Associates April 21. The event was held virtually on the Microsoft Teams platform, Lange earlier announced.


The two recognitions are part of the UTA faculty’s annual recognition of peers who perform outstanding work in the classroom.


“I commend you for your outstanding contribution to teaching and look forward to congratulating you in person on April 21,” Lange told the two professors in separate emails informing each of their honors.


Social Work Senior Associate Dean Debra Woody, in an email to faculty, congratulated the two professors and wrote that the “honors are a clear indication of their devoted, enthusiastic and long-standing commitment to the School of Social Work’s students and the teaching mission of the university.”


“What a great way to represent the School of Social Work,” Dr. Woody said in her email. “Well done to both of our colleagues.”


Social Work Dean Scott Ryan congratulated the professors on their honors in an email announcing the recognitions.


“This is absolutely wonderful,” Dr. Ryan said.


“To have two faculty members honored for outstanding instruction in the same year is quite the testament to the excellent classroom instruction our students are receiving,” he said. “We strive to have Social Work instruction that is relevant to the times and connects our students to real-world practice.”