Center for Teaching and Learning

President’s Teaching Excellence Awards

The President’s Teaching Excellence Award committee receives hundreds of nominations every year and considers a broad spectrum of eligible candidates throughout the University. The award comes with a stipend and recipients were presented with medallions at the annual Honors Convocation ceremony in May. Read the full news article here.

President’s Teaching Excellence Awards of 2019

Danieli Rodrigues

President’s Teaching Excellence Award in Undergraduate Instruction (tenure-track)

Danieli Rodrigues received her BS Degree in Chemical Engineering from Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Brazil in 2005. She then joined the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering at Syracuse University, Syracuse – NY, receiving her MS in 2007 and PhD in 2010. Her graduate research focused on orthopedic biomaterials, primarily working on the characterization of corrosion and failure mechanisms of hip implants and development of acrylic two-solution bone cements for treatment of spinal compression fractures. From 2010-2012, Dr. Rodrigues worked as Senior Research Engineer in the Fatigue and Fracture Mechanics Research Department at Zimmer Inc, Warsaw – IN. As a Research Engineer with the medical device industry, she developed test methods for performance verification and validation of new designs of hip and knee prostheses and related surgical instrumentation. Dr. Rodrigues joined the Department of Bioengineering at UT Dallas as an assistant professor in the Fall 2012.

 

Dr. Joanna Gentsch

President’s Teaching Excellence Award in Undergraduate Instruction (non-tenure-track)

Joanna Gentsch is the Director of Student Programming and Community Engagement in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. She is a Developmental Psychologist and received both her PhD and Master’s Degree from UT Dallas. Dr. Gentsch is a member of the SACS COC Executive Leadership team and has administrative experience at both the school and university level. She recently received a Quantum Leap grant to expand experiential learning opportunities through Community-based learning and the creation of innovative student programming focused on social and academic belonging. Dr. Gentsch also enjoys teaching undergraduates in the school of Behavioral and Brain Sciences and through the Hobson Wildenthal Honors College.

 

 

 

Dr. Mary L. Urquhart

President’s Teaching Excellence Award in Graduate/Professional Instruction

Dr. Urquhart’s formal training is as a planetary scientist with a specialization in the constraints on thermophysical properties of rocky and icy planetary crustal materials derived from temperature variations. However, starting in 1996 she has become increasingly involved in both NASA and independent educational outreach, which eventually led to her joining the Department of Science/Mathematics Education at UT Dallas in 2002 as the physics and astronomy education specialist. Her work includes preK-12 curriculum development, design and delivery of professional development for in-service teachers, working directly with preK-12 students in and outside of classrooms, and education research with emphases in the design of effective professional development for teachers and in the development of science concepts and attitudes in learners of all ages. She is a passionate mentor to science students with an interest in educational outreach or science education research, and to teachers with a growing interest in science. Dr. Urquhart is also keenly interested in working with policymakers in education from early childhood through graduate school, especially with regard to teacher training and curriculum design.

 

 

Dr. Abhijit Biswas

President’s Teaching Excellence Award in Online/Blended Instruction

Dr. Abhijit Biswas has a diverse background delivering numerous marketing management courses for MBA and EMBA programs for more than 20 years at Purdue UniversitySouthern Methodist University, and UT Dallas.  He teaches  a wide spectrum of Marketing courses like Principles of MarketingAdvertising and Promotions ManagementConsumer Behavior and Brand Management. He has also developed and taught the Capstone Marketing Strategy course, Pricing ManagementMarketing ResearchProduct Management and International Marketing.

 

 

 

Dr. Julie Parsons

Dr. Julie Parsons has served in a teaching role at UT Dallas for five years. She has been a teaching assistant for 12 courses, and she has taught two of her own courses.

 

 

 

President’s Teaching Excellence Awards of 2018

 

 

Dr. Jonas Bunte

President’s Teaching Excellence Award in Undergraduate Instruction (tenure-track)

Dr. Jonas Bunte is an assistant professor of public economy in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences. Teaching at UT Dallas since 2013, he studies the politics of finance. His classes explore how politics shapes economics and vice versa. He said his courses aim to provide students with the tools to think critically in an increasingly complex world.

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Amandeep Sra

President’s Teaching Excellence Award in Undergraduate Instruction (non-tenure-track)

Dr. Amandeep Sra is a senior lecturer in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. She began her teaching career at UT Dallas in 2011. She instructs sophomore and freshman courses and laboratories. She also serves as the general chemistry lab coordinator, faculty liaison for the Student Success Center and a summer camp facilitator.

 

 

Dr. Robert Ackerman

President’s Teaching Excellence Award in Graduate/Professional Instruction

Dr. Robert Ackerman is an associate professor of psychology in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. He arrived at UT Dallas in 2011 and has taught graduate-level and undergraduate courses on topics such as personality, statistics, and research design and analysis. He said he enjoys watching students’ interest come alive with new insights into statistics and data analysis.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Lanham

Dr. Carol Cirulli Lanham

President’s Teaching Excellence Award in Online/Blended Instruction

Senior lecturer Carol Cirulli Lanham MS’09, PhD’11 has been teaching at UT Dallas since 2011. She teaches a variety of sociology classes online and in the classroom. As assistant dean in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, she also teaches the freshman seminar.

 

 

 

Ariel Arguelles

President’s Teaching Excellence Award for Teaching Assistants

Graduate student Ariel Arguelles teaches both Human Resources Management and Diversity in the Public Sector in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences. She has been teaching at UT Dallas since spring 2017. She said her favorite part of teaching has been interacting with students and continuously challenging them in their ideas and beliefs.

“This isn’t done to persuade them, but to encourage them to better understand not just what they believe, but why,” she said.

 

Dr. Gregg Dieckmann

President’s Teaching Excellence Award in Undergraduate Instruction (tenure-track)

In addition to this year’s President’s Award, Dr. Gregg Dieckmann, associate professor of chemistry, has twice won Outstanding Teacher Awards from the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. A faculty member since 1999, he has taught inorganic chemistry, physical biochemistry and general chemistry, a course he has coordinated since 2006.    

 

Dr. Sabrina Starnaman

President’s Teaching Excellence Award in Undergraduate Instruction (non-tenure-track)

Dr. Sabrina Starnaman, clinical assistant professor in the School of Arts and Humanities, began teaching at UT Dallas in 2011. She has taught an array of literary studies courses, including The Literature of Fantasy, The Literature of Science Fiction and Studies in Women’s Literature.    

 

 

Sharron Conrad

President’s Teaching Excellence Award for Teaching Assistants

Sharron Conrad has worked as a teaching assistant at UT Dallas since fall 2014 teaching rhetoric in the School of Arts and Humanities. She credits her successes in the classroom to her experience in her previous career working with students in art and history museums.    

 

 

 

Dr. Ravi Prakash

President’s Teaching Excellence Award in Graduate/Professional Instruction

Dr. Ravi Prakash, a professor of computer science, has taught undergrads and graduate students for nearly 20 years in the Department of Computer Science and the Hobson Wildenthal Honors College.      

 

 

 

 

Kathy Zolton

President’s Teaching Excellence Award in Online/Blended Instruction

Senior lecturer of accounting Kathy Zolton has been at the Naveen Jindal School of Management for five years. Her primary course is Advanced Financial Reporting. Zolton said the key to online courses and asynchronous learning is to help the students feel that they are all together on the same path at around the same time.

 

 

 

President’s Teaching Excellence Awards of 2016

Teachers Honored at Convocation for Passion, Commitment to Students

Dr. Ryan McMahan

Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring

Dr. Ryan McMahan is an assistant professor in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science and the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication. Since joining UT Dallas in 2012, McMahan has mentored 25 graduate, 15 undergraduate and six summer high school students conducting research in his Future Immersive Virtual Environments (FIVE) Lab. He also promotes research for underrepresented groups, including the establishment of a research summer camp for underrepresented high school students.  

 

Dr. Denise Paquette Boots

President’s Teaching Excellence Award

Boots, who joined UT Dallas in 2006, teaches Introduction to Crime and Criminology and courses on topics including family violence, victimology, homicide and capital punishment. In 2009, she received a UT Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. Students who nominated Boots praised her passion for teaching and her efforts to help students succeed, even long after they finish her courses.  

 

Dr. Jigarkumar Patel

President’s Teaching Excellence Award (non-tenure-track)

Patel earned both a master’s degree and PhD in applied mathematics from UT Dallas. He also received bachelor’s degrees in pure mathematics and education, and a master’s degree in pure mathematics from Gujarat University in India. Patel has been a senior lecturer since 2011 and is course coordinator for Applied Calculus II. In comments in Patel’s nomination materials, students praised him for the clarity of his lectures, his enthusiasm for his subject matter and his willingness to work one on one with students outside of class.  

 

Emily Herzig

President’s Teaching Excellence Award for Teaching Assistants

Herzig was named one of the department’s first teaching associates, and has been the instructor of record for precalculus and applied calculus courses since 2014. Herzig said her approach to teaching draws on her enjoyment of the logical, problem-solving aspects of math.