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Awards Celebrate Outstanding Teaching at U.Va.

April 12, 1999 -- Known for challenging their students in exceptional ways, nine University of Virginia professors and four graduate teaching assistants will receive 1999 University-wide awards honoring outstanding teaching.

The honorees, chosen from numerous nominations backed by heart-felt testimonials from students and colleagues, will be feted Wednesday, April 14, in the Rotunda at U.Va.'s annual "In Celebration of Teaching" banquet, hosted by Vice President and Provost Peter Low.

Vice Provost Barbara Nolan, who coordinated the awards process, said that the selection committee, chaired by English professor Jahan Ramazani, "found the choices both extremely difficult and inspiring. As always, the winners the committee chose for this year's teaching awards epitomize the dedication to teaching and pedagogical skill characteristic of our faculty as a whole.

"Though we can honor only a few teachers each year with an award, the banquet also provides an opportunity to celebrate the very large number of vibrant professors, lecturers, and graduate instructors at U.Va. who are committed to educating their students not only for professional careers but also for life. If we had ten or twenty times our current number of awards, we would still be unable to honor everyone whose achievements in the classroom merit them."

Receiving this year's teaching awards are:

Thomas F.X. Noble, professor of history: the Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award. The annual award is given to a faculty member who has excelled as a teacher, shown unusual concern for students and made significant contributions to University life for at least a decade. The winner receives a $1,500 prize.

Brian Owensby, assistant professor of history: The Alumni Board of Trustees Teaching Award. The award is given to an assistant professor for demonstrated skill in teaching and carries a $1,000 prize, with $1,500 in additional support and offers a semester's research assignment.

Winners of All-University Outstanding Teaching Awards, each carrying a $2,000 prize and recognizing ability to inspire and motivate students, are:

Julian W. Connolly, professor of Slavic languages and literatures
Anne M. Coughlin, professor of law
William C. Johnson, professor of materials science and engineering
Jeanne M. Liedtka, professor of business administration
Daniel B. Willingham, professor of psychology

Winners of All-University Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards, each carrying a $1,000 prize for teaching excellence, are:
Christopher Boner, mathematics
Amy Feely, history
Anna Patchias, English

Winner of the Resident Teaching Award in the School of Medicine, carrying a $1,000 prize, is Dr. Maria Mascolo, internal medicine.

Earlier this year, Edmund P. Russell III, assistant professor of technology, culture and communication, received a 1999 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the Commonwealth's highest honor for college and university teaching.

Also honored at the banquet will be Karen Chase, professor of English, who holds the Cavaliers' Distinguished Teaching Professorship this year. The rotating endowed professorship recognizing excellent teaching is partly supported by athletic bowl earnings.

Contact: Bob Brickhouse, (804) 924-6856.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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