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College of Science News

Two COS faculty among honorees for teaching excellence


Lee Ann Frederick, lecturer in the Department of Biology, and Monica Ramirez Basco, a former visiting assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, are among nine University of Texas at Arlington faculty members honored Aug. 17 by The University of Texas System for their classroom excellence.

They have been honored as recipients of the 2011 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. The honors come with cash awards ranging from $15,000 to $30,000 - believed to be among the largest in the nation for higher education faculty. The awards are given to faculty members at UT System academic institutions who demonstrate extraordinary classroom performance and innovation at the undergraduate level. The event marks the program’s third year.

Receiving recognition for their excellence in teaching is nothing new for Frederick and Basco.

In Spring 2010, Frederick was the winner of the UT Arlington Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, which honors instructors who have demonstrated a record of excellence in teaching, strong personal commitment to students, and the ability to motivate, challenge and inspire.

“Lee Ann Frederick consistently displays the enthusiasm, organization, and expertise that make her a great teacher,” said Jonathan Campbell, Department of Biology chair.

Frederick has been a lecturer at UT Arlington since 2008. She received a B.S. in Environmental Science from Penn State University in 1999 and a Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology from Clemson University in 2004.

Basco received the College of Science Teaching Excellence Award in Spring 2010, honoring her work in the classroom. She accepted a position with the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, over the summer.

“Dr. Basco has always received excellent student evaluations in the courses she taught,” said Robert Gatchel, Department of Psychology chair. ”The two favorite courses for students were Abnormal Psychology and Introduction to Clinical and Consulting Psychology, because of their intrinsic interest to everyday life.”

Other UT Arlington honorees are: Stacy Alaimo, professor, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts; Bill Corley, professor, Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Systems Engineering, College of Engineering; Donald Granvold, professor, School of Social Work; Kenneth Roemer, professor, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts; Douglas Grisaffe, assistant professor, Department of Marketing, College of Business; Laura Kopchick, senior lecturer, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts; and Peggy Kulesz, senior lecturer, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts.


UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo nominated the UT Arlington honorees based on recommendations from department chairs, deans and a committee established by Donald R. Bobbitt, UT Arlington provost and vice president for academic affairs.

"We are honored that The University of Texas System has chosen to recognize so many UT Arlington faculty with these distinguished awards,” Spaniolo said. “These professors represent the heart of our institution. They are respected fortheir academic expertise, but they also are committed to engaging students in a way that helps students reach their full potential.”

In all, 72 educators systemwide received recognition. They will share $1.8 million in awards and were honored during a special ceremony last week in Austin.

A complete list of winners and their institutions is available

“Exceptional university teaching has been at the core of the services our universities provide to our students since our inception in 1883,” said Gene Powell, chairman of the UT System Board of Regents. “When most of us reflect back on our college experience, one or more great educators who left an indelible mark on our lives come to mind. I think of my mentor, teacher and friend, Dr. John Bickley, in front of a class at UT Austin. Dr. Bickley would be so proud that in 2011 the Regents are recognizing and rewarding great teaching,”

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.

“It is our System’s responsibility to provide an exceptional education to our students, and we believe this award program not only furthers that goal, but helps promote a culture of excellence that produces better teaching, better learning and, ultimately, better prepared graduates to enter our work force,” said UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D. “These awards have proved to be so successful in promoting outstanding teaching that we hope to expand the program to our health institutions as well.”

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 is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $12.8 billion (FY 2011) including $2.3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 211,000 in the 2010 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. With more than 68,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.