Eleven UT-Austin educators receive Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards

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Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

The UT System Board of Regents recognized 79 faculty members across all UT institutions Wednesday night, 11 of whom were from UT-Austin.

University spokeswoman Jenny LaCoste-Caputo said UT-Austin had the most Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards recipients among the other System universities. Each recipient will receive $25,000, according to LaCoste-Caputo

At the time of the announcement Paul Foster, Chairman of the Board of Regents, said the money available to the Board allows the System to do something other universities might not be able to afford.

“With a total of more than $1.9 million dollars this year, no other university system in the nation is making this kind of an investment in rewarding outstanding faculty,” Foster said in a statement. “The efforts of these faculty members significantly enhances the educational experiences of our students, and the UT Board of Regents is pleased to honor them.”

The Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award was established in 2008 to recognize educators who perform at a high quality of instruction in the classroom, the laboratory, in the field or online. Before they were selected, the nominees sent in their nominations and submitted a 150-page portfolio containing student evaluations, their teaching philosophy and letters of recommendations from students and peers.

Award recipient Bharath Chandrasekaran, assistant professor in the department of communication sciences and disorders, said he appreciated his students’ help during the process.

“As a professor, part of my focus is not just teaching a course but success outside of the classroom,” Chandrasekaran said. “It was also a good feeling to have [the students] write letters about me and I am sure [the letters] helped me get selected.”

Kris Wilson, senior lecturer in the School of Journalism and a recipient of the award, said he thought it was fascinating to talk with other winners and see that everyone had the same goal of wanting their students to know the maximum amount they could.

Leslie Adami, a journalism senior, said she had Wilson for Audio Storytelling and Reporting on the Environment. Wilson encourages his students to challenge themselves, Adami said, and she remembers that philosophy before leaving on an internship.

“Before leaving for the summer, I had a difficult time deciding whether to take an internship out-of-state,” Adami said. “He and another professor of mine were the first people I consulted. I ended up taking the internship and loved every moment of it, thanks partly to him for encouraging me to do so.”