Dr. Theresa Towner Named UTD’s Teacher of the Year
Chancellor’s Council Award Includes $5,000 Prize

Dr. Theresa Towner

Dr. Theresa Towner

Dr. Theresa M. Towner, an assistant professor
of literary studies in the School of Arts & Humanities and an authority on the work of Nobel Prize-winning novelist William Faulkner, has been selected teacher of the year at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) for the 2001-2002 academic year.

The award, which is provided each year 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 Towner May 17 at an Honors Convocation in the Conference Center on campus. Towner also will speak at the convocation.

UTD President Dr. Franklyn G. Jenifer said Dr. Towner, who joined UTD as an adjunct lecturer in 1994, was selected from nearly 60 UTD teachers nominated by students for the honor, which is formally called the Chancellor’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award.

“Dr. Towner has a reputation as an inspiring and passionate teacher who loves her work and makes her students work hard,” Dr. Jenifer said. “She embodies that rare combination of scholar and teacher. We are fortunate to have her here at U.T. Dallas.”

Towner was nominated as UTD’s “Teacher of the Year” for her teaching of the class Exploration of the Humanities, a course with about 150 students. One student who nominated Towner wrote, “I never missed this class because I was always anxious to hear what she might say next.” Another said, “She is captivating and energetic and always makes things interesting.” A third said, “I aspire to be a teacher like her.” And a fourth wrote simply, “Towner rocks!”

Towner has published extensively and is the author of the book Faulkner On the Color Line: The Later Novels. She also has taught at the University of Virginia and Texas Woman’s University, and she served as Arts & Humanities college master from 1998 through 2001. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Exeter in England. She did her undergraduate work at the University of Kansas.

The honoree said she was “deeply moved” to have been selected for the teaching award, “especially at a university that expects excellence in teaching.”

“Teachers of literature spend all their time with great language,” she said. “I’m still looking for the right words to express just how it feels to receive this honor from my students and colleagues. So far, I have the two most important ones: Thank you.”

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].