The Board of Regents honored 26 faculty members on Aug. 23 with the Outstanding Teaching Award. The honorees were selected from three categories of faculty — contingent, tenure-track and tenure — and given a combined total of $1.6 million, making this award one of the largest in the nation.
Biology professor Arturo de Lozanne, one of the 26 recipients, said he was pleased to be nominated for the award by his peers.
“Some colleagues of mine have received this award in previous years, so I knew about it,” de Lozanne said. “It was one of those things that you can kind of strive for in kind of making a mark in the University.”
Once the faculty members are nominated, they undergo an extensive application process. This includes submitting a portfolio of work that is capped at 150 pages. Professors must also submit a statement of teaching philosophy, as well as multiple student and coworker evaluations.
Karen Adler, the assistant director of Public Affairs for the UT System, said she felt the amount of work included in submissions for the award was appropriate, given its reputation.
“The reason it’s a lot is because it’s such a prestigious award,” Adler said. “It’s the best of the best — that’s why the standards seem so high.”
Kathryn Dawson, a theater and dance assistant professor who also received the award, said she has honed her teaching skills by working at multiple levels for the University.
“I started out as an adjunct, and then a lecturer, and then a clinical assistant professor,” Dawson said. “Now I’m an assistant professor, so in an exciting way, I’ve had the opportunity to sit in each of those places and see the importance of teaching in all of them. I think teaching is a constant for all those folks, ideally.”
Dawson said she plans to start college funds for her two children with her monetary award but said she also wants to splurge.
“Maybe a pair of college boots,” Dawson said. “I’ve been in Texas for 10 years and don’t own a pair.”