Skip to content. Skip to main navigation.

Six UT Arlington faculty members honored with UT System Outstanding Teaching Awards

Six faculty members from The University of Texas at Arlington are among University of Texas System educators honored with 2015 Regents Outstanding Teaching Award winners for excellence in the classroom.

UT System Regents Outstanding Teaching Awards Winners 2015

The UT System professors will share $1.9 million in awards and will be honored during a special ceremony in August by the Board of Regents.

UT Arlington President Vistasp M. Karbhari said this year’s winners exemplify the highest level of excellence in teaching and mentorship, and they demonstrate the tremendous commitment of faculty to the success of students and the community. Honorees are nominated based on recommendations from department chairs, deans and committees.

“The University of Texas at Arlington is a model of excellence for the next generation of public urban research institutions and a destination for students seeking excellence across diverse disciplines,” Karbhari said. “Our faculty have a deep and abiding commitment to our students and they work with dedication to ignite that spark that changes a student’s life, nurtures a student’s curiosity and intellectual passion and inspires ever increasing levels of achievement not just from their students but from peers across the university. 

"These faculty are the source of the momentum behind UTA’s rising international reputation. We are fortunate to work alongside these colleagues as we reach new heights of excellence.”

The UT Arlington honorees are:

  • Shih-Ho “Simon” Chao, associate professor, Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Raymond Elliott, associate professor, Department of Modern Languages, College of Liberal Arts
  • Deborah Hughes, clinical instructor, College of Nursing and Health Innovation
  • Judy LeFlore, professor and associate dean for simulation and technology, College of Nursing and Health Innovation
  • Sanjiv Sabherwal, associate professor, Department of Finance and Real Estate, College of Business
  • Jeffrey Witzel, assistant professor, Department of Linguistics and TESOL, College of Liberal Arts

For more information about the Regents Outstanding Teaching Awards, please visit

Faculty winners will be recognized in conjunction with the UT System Board of Regents meeting Aug. 19-20 in Austin.

Regents Chairman Paul L. Foster said: “These amazing educators are responsible for helping to prepare the next generation of great leaders. No other university system in the nation is making this kind of an investment in rewarding outstanding faculty. The efforts of these faculty members significantly enhance the educational experiences of our students, and the UT Board of Regents is pleased to have this opportunity to honor them.”

The honors were established in 2008 and come with a monetary award of $25,000. They are given to faculty members at UT System academic institutions who demonstrate extraordinary classroom performance and innovation at the undergraduate level.

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.

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.

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, six health institutions and an enrollment of more than 214,000. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public universities in Texas. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $15.6 billion (FY 2015) including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With about 90,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 50,600 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as one of the 20 fastest-growing public research universities in the nation in 2014. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as a “Best for Vets” college by Military Times magazine. Visit to learn more, and find UT Arlington rankings and recognition at