Awards Laud Psychology, Neuroscience Educators

Faculty Members Described as Both Innovative and Inspirational in Classroom

Sep. 20, 2010

The School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS) has chosen Dr. Shayla Holub and Dr. Van Miller to receive its annual Excellence in Teaching Awards. 

Holub, an assistant professor whose research focuses on children’s eating behaviors and obesity issues, was named outstanding faculty member. Miller, who joined UT Dallas as a senior lecturer after many years as a pediatric neurologist, was given the award as outstanding lecturer.  

Dr. Bert Moore, dean of the school, said Holub was chosen for the award because she does an all-around excellent job of teaching in three degree programs. He said students love her infectious enthusiasm for psychology and her clear, engaging lecture style. 

Miller joined UT Dallas to fulfill a lifelong desire to teach eager students, and his love of teaching comes through in all of his classes, Moore said. Among his courses is the school’s largest, behavioral neuroscience, which reaches 300 students per semester. 

Moore said these two teachers excel in the classroom because they obviously enjoy working with young people. 

“I am very pleased that their colleagues have recognized Shayla Holub and Van Miller for their excellence in teaching,” he said. “Each exemplifies the University’s aspirations for innovative and inspirational instruction. Shayla Holub wins praise for her commitment to students and her thorough and thoughtful mastery. Van Miller’s students speak of his unusual ability to take complex material and integrate it in an understandable and interesting fashion. We are very proud of both Shayla and Van.”

Excellence in teaching is central to the mission of UT Dallas and BBS, Moore said. “We have a reputation within the University and across the country as a place where students get a rigorous education that emphasizes the scientific study of human behavior, the brain and the promotion of effective communication.” 

Students who nominated the professors cited their determination to help students engage with the material and learn. 

“Dr. Miller is an amazing professor and explains things in a way that non-science majors understand,” one student wrote. 

The nomination submitted by another student said Holub has an effective way of making sure her students understand what is being taught. 

“You can tell that she truly loves to teach, which makes it more enjoyable to learn,” the student wrote.

Holub said she enjoys witnessing the moment when a student suddenly understands something new, or sees something old and familiar in a new way. “I feel very privileged that I was selected for this award,” she said. “I have numerous colleagues that I admire for their excellence in teaching, so I feel especially grateful to be recognized for my efforts. I take teaching very seriously and greatly appreciate this recognition.”

Miller said he was surprised and delighted to receive the teaching recognition. “My real teaching reward is seeing students have the same enthusiasm as I have for clinical neuroscience and knowing that I helped engender that,” he said.


Media Contact: Emily Martinez, UT Dallas, (214) 905-3049, emily.martinez@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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Dr. Shayla HolubDr. Shayla Holub's research focuses on children’s eating behaviors and obesity issues.
Dr. Van Miller began teaching after working many years as a pediatric neurologist.   
Dr. Van Miller

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