RICHARDSON, Texas (April 27, 2006) — Dr. Gregory S. Thielemann, a popular professor and head of the Center for the Study of Texas Politics at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), has been selected as the teacher of the year at the university for the 2005-2006 academic year.
The award, which is provided annually by The University of Texas System Chancellor’s Council to recognize excellence in teaching at each of the system’s nine general academic institutions, is accompanied by a $5,000 prize and will be presented to Thielemann on Friday, May 5, at an Honors Convocation in the Activity Center on the UTD campus. He will deliver a brief speech at the evening ceremony.
Thielemann, who joined UTD in 1988 and is an associate professor of government and politics and political economy in the School of Social Sciences, was selected from 88 tenured or tenure-track faculty members who were nominated by students for the honor, which is formally called the Chancellor’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award.
“Greg is an extremely talented member of our faculty, and his ability to excite the very best of our students is an important contribution to UTD,” said Dr. Brian Berry, dean of the School of Social Sciences. “As such, he is a worthy recipient for this special honor.”
One UTD student who nominated Thielemann for the award noted “his most outstanding quality as a teacher is his desire for his students to succeed,” and another praised the professor for “his ability to silence an entire classroom and cause them to become captivated with what he is saying.” A third student said Thielemann possessed an “ability to share his vast knowledge of politics with his students without overcomplicating the issue.”
“In my mind, teaching great undergraduates is about the best job on earth. Because I have had that job for 18 years now, it seems that winning a prize for teaching it is a little like finding a dollar after you’ve won the lottery,” Thielemann said. “I’d like to thank all of the students who have made my job pleasant over the years. While at UTD, I have taught small seminars for McDermott Scholars and Collegium V students and large intro sections of American government. In each case, I have appreciated the energy and enthusiasm of our exceptional student body. Winning this award is truly amazing given the high quality of teachers at UTD.”
Thielemann received his Ph.D. from Rice University and has examined the linkage between public opinion and voting in the American South. His work gradually evolved into other policy studies that attempted to link public opinion to policy outcomes. His research agenda includes studies about the Texas Legislature and constitution. While on the faculty of UTD, he has established himself as a recognized expert on the topic of the Texas Legislature and on health policies related to HIV and AIDS.
The non-partisan Center for the Study of Texas Politics, which Thielemann heads, was created in 2002 to develop opportunities for North Texans to interact with Texas’ leading policy-makers while simultaneously enhancing the quality of instruction, research and service that exists in UTD’s School of Social Sciences. The center’s programs bring state leaders to campus to discuss topics of interest to the study of Texas politics with the UTD community, other educational institutions, local officials and community leaders.
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls nearly 14,500 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s website at www.utdallas.edu.