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Awards To Celebrate Dedicated Teaching At U.Va.

April 5, 2001-- Amazing. Committed. Supportive. Demanding. Insightful. Passionate. Enriching.

Those are a few of the adjectives students and faculty used to describe nine professors, four graduate teaching assistants and two medical residents, who will receive this year’s University-wide awards to honor outstanding teaching and exceptional classroom dedication.

The honorees, chosen by a committee from numerous nominations and in-depth testimonials from students and colleagues, will be honored Wednesday, April 11, in the Rotunda at U.Va.'s 10th annual "In Celebration of Teaching" banquet. Vice President and Provost Peter W. Low and Vice Provost Barbara Nolan will present the awards.

Nolan says that each year, the choices are not only difficult but also inspirational for the selection committee.

"Brilliant teaching takes place every day of every semester in our lecture halls and seminars and in individual meetings with students," said Nolan who oversaw the selection process. "These winners truly exemplify the best efforts of all our faculty."

The honorees include:

    • Richard Guy Wilson, professor of architectural history, Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award. This annual award goes 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 $2,500 prize.
    • Susan E. Burns, assistant professor of civil engineering, 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 plus 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:

    • Glenn Beamer, assistant professor of government and foreign affairs
    • Claire Lyu, assistant professor of French
    • Anthony Spearing, professor of English
    • Robert Weikle II, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering
    • Timothy D. Wilson, professor of psychology

Winners of University Seminar Outstanding Teaching Awards, offered for the first time to recognize outstanding efforts to promote critical thinking skills, are:

    • Sarah Farrell, assistant professor of nursing
    • Cynthia Wall, associate professor of English

The awards, each carrying a $1,500 prize, are open to faculty who have taught in the University Seminar program of intensive classes for first-year students.

Winners of All-University Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards, each carrying a $1,000 prize for teaching excellence, are:

    • Fred K. Drogula, history
    • June A. Griffin, English
    • Ben Lee, English
    • Karen Batt Stanish, mathematics

Winners of the Resident Teaching Awards in the School of Medicine, each receiving a $1,000 prize, are Dr. Don M. Benson and Dr. Andrew E. Lazar, both in the Department of Internal Medicine.

Also honored at the banquet will be James A. Smith, associate professor of civil engineering, who holds the Cavaliers' Distinguished Teaching Professorship this year and next. The rotating endowed professorship recognizing excellent teaching is partly supported by athletic bowl earnings.

Contact: Bob Brickhouse, (804) 924-6856

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: 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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