Five professors selected to join Academy of Distinguished Teachers

Five distinguished professors will be inducted into The University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers during a ceremony on Tuesday, April 22.

The Academy of Distinguished Teachers was created to recognize outstanding educators at UT’s nine academic institutions, and all members must be past recipients of the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. This year’s inductees have expertise that range from postmodern British fiction to training the next generation of energy leaders at the intersection of engineering, policy and commercialization.

“The Academy honors the best of the best,” said UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D. “It recognizes educators, not only those who are leaders in their field, but also those who are committed to improving teaching System-wide.”

“This is the second year that the University of Texas System honors outstanding educators across our nine academic institutions,” said Pedro Reyes, UT System Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “These professors have all demonstrated commitment and leadership in education, and they will serve on a System-wide advisory and advocacy group promoting exemplary undergraduate learning across the entire System.”

Here are this year’s honorees:

  • Sophia Andres is a UT Permian Basin English professor who teaches Romantic, Victorian, Modern and Postmodern British fiction, Literature and Art and Literature and Mythology. Her teaching and scholarship have resulted in numerous local and state teaching awards.
  • Neil Gray, UT Tyler, is a professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Gray, who is the recipient of numerous teaching awards, is co-director of UT Tyler’s UTeach program, which prepares high-quality Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teachers.
  • John Hadjimarcou is chair of the Department of Marketing and Management at the UT El Paso. The recipient of numerous UTEP awards as an outstanding teacher, the veteran professor focuses on international marketing strategy and cross-cultural consumer behavior.
  • Kenneth Roemer is a Distinguished Scholar Professor at UT Arlington who has written extensively on Native American literature. One of his books on utopian literature was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in American History.
  • Michael Webber, a mechanical engineering associate professor at UT Austin, has authored more than 200 publications, holds four patents and is on the Scientific American advisory board. He has a television special on national syndication on PBS stations, and his MOOC “Energy 101” course last year drew 42,000 students from around the globe.

Members of the Academy serve as a System-level advocacy group dedicated to enhancing teaching, fostering innovation in the classroom and promoting interdisciplinary perspectives on education.

For more information, visit the Academy of Distinguished Teachers website.

About The University of Texas System

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking research and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States, with nine academic universities, six health institutions and a fall 2013 enrollment of more than 213,000. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public universities in Texas. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $14.6 billion (FY 2014) including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With about 90,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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