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UT System honors seven faculty members for teaching excellence

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

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Media Contact: Kristin Sullivan

Seven faculty members from The University of Texas at Arlington are among the 65 educators who will be honored this year by The University of Texas System Board of Regents for excellence in the classroom.

The professors will share $1.8 million in awards and are to be honored Wednesday during a special ceremony in Austin.

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.”

Elisabeth Cawthon

Elisabeth Cawthon, associate professor-associate chair, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts.

Christopher Conway

Christopher Conway, associate professor, Department of Modern Languages, College of Liberal Arts.

Jonathan Davis-Secord

Jonathan Davis­-Secord, senior lecturer, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts.

Victoria Farrar-Myers

Victoria Farrar-Myers, professor, Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts.

K.J. (Jamie) Rogers

K.J. (Jamie) Rogers, associate professor-associate chair, Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Systems, College of Engineering.

Kathleen Tice

Kathleen Tice, assistant professor, College of Education.

Nilakshi Veerabathina

Nilakshi Veerabathina, lecturer, Department of Physics, College of Science.

The UT Arlington honorees are Elisabeth Cawthon, History; Christopher Conway, Modern Languages; Jonathan Davis-Secord, English; Victoria Farrar-Myers, political science; K.J. (Jamie) Rogers, engineering; Kathleen Tice, education; Nilakshi Veerabathina, physics.

A complete list of winners and their institutions is available on the UT System website.

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 most innovative and effective educators. These annual awards help advance a culture of excellence and recognize outstanding performance in the classroom and laboratory that directly benefit our students for life,” said Gene Powell, chairman of the UT System Board of Regents. “On behalf of the board, I congratulate each of these dedicated professionals for their commitment to exceptional teaching and providing an education of the first class for our students.”

Award nominees must demonstrate a clear commitment to teaching and a sustained ability to deliver excellence to the undergraduate learning experience. Campus and external judges rigorously examined the candidates’ teaching performance over three years.

“The UT System and the Board of Regents believe educating young minds is paramount for the future of this great state and nation,” said UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D. “These awards honor those educators who have produced proven results and have had a great impact on our students.”

Additionally, students, peer faculty and external reviewers considered a range of activities and criteria, including classroom expertise, quality of curriculum, innovative course development and student learning outcomes. A teaching portfolio was required to demonstrate pedagogical innovation, continuous improvement of course materials, overall teacher training experience and a statement of teaching philosophy and objectives.

About UT Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is the second largest member of the UT System and is a comprehensive research institution of about 33,500 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit to learn more.

About The University of Texas System

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking research and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States, with nine academic universities and six health science centers. Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 215,000 in the 2011 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state’s health care professionals annually. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $13.1 billion (FY 2012) including $2.3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With roughly 87,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.


The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.