The University of Texas System will distribute $1.8 million in awards for excellence in teaching to 72 educators, including 33 UT faculty members, today during an on-campus ceremony.
Each award presented by the UT System Board of Regents is between $15,000 and $30,000 and is based on a three-year evaluation by “campus and external judges,” according to a UT System press release.
The Board of Regents hopes to expand the award to the UT health institutions because of the award’s success, UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa wrote in the release.
“It is our System’s responsibility to provide an exceptional education to our students, and we believe this award program not only furthers that goal but helps promote a culture of excellence that produces better teaching, better learning and ultimately, better prepared graduates to enter our work force,” Cigarroa wrote.
Theater professor Charlotte Canning is one of the educators who will be awarded.
“I can’t think of any greater honor than my students saying this class was of value to them or that I have helped them,” Canning said.
Of her teaching philosophy, Canning said it is important to know the past to affect the future.
“If nothing else, history teaches us how rarely success is a matter of sheer luck and talent but almost always of hard work and experimentation,” Canning wrote.
Canning said she appreciates her students showing that her classes were of value to them.
“It is such an incredible honor, but the really amazing moment, the biggest honor, was reading the letters from those students,” Canning said.
Theater and government alumna Sarah White took Canning’s theater history class as a senior. White said Canning is unique in her ability to convey the topics in which she is an expert.
“She’s incredibly smart,” White said. “There’s a handful of professors who are brilliant and relatable.”
She said Canning is an engaging teacher, who not only taught the plays but helped the students understand the social context in which they were written.
“Instead of sitting and talking about the play, we got up and practiced that theater,” White said.
She said the unique way Canning taught changed how she thinks about plays.
“Had I known she was teaching this class, I would have taken it sooner,” White said.
Printed on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 as: Board of Regents awards unique, outstanding educators.