(May 21, 2012) --In recognition of the preeminent role of instructional faculty in advancing knowledge, The University of Texas at San Antonio has established the Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars.
UTSA's 17 recipients of the UT System Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards were inducted as charter members of the academy. They include College of Architecture faculty member John Alexander; College of Business faculty members Tom Cannon, Rick Utecht and Ermine Orta; College of Education and Human Development faculty members Janis Harmon, Maria Kaylor and Alycia Maurer; College of Engineering faculty members Sazzad Bin-Shafique and Chunjiang Qian; College of Liberal and Fine Arts faculty members Mark Allen, Karen Dodwell, Daniel Engster, Kolleen Guy, Amy Jasperson, Mary McNaughton-Cassill and John Miller Morris; and University College faculty member Diane Abdo.
As part of a May 4 ceremony launching the academy, members signed a charter, along with President Ricardo Romo and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs John Frederick.
"Recognizing our most effective classroom teachers is important in continuing to foster a culture of excellence at UTSA," said Frederick. "But beyond that, this academy also will be a working group, charged with advocating exceptional teaching and learning practices across our campuses."
"The academy members will serve as a much-needed resource to their faculty colleagues and especially to the Teaching and Learning Center," said Krisellen Maloney, dean of the UTSA Libraries. The TLC is under the UTSA Libraries, and Maloney was instrumental in helping launch the Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars.
"They will provide guidance and feedback for TLC programs and initiatives, conduct teaching seminars and also mentor new faculty," she said.
Membership in the academy will be limited to five percent of the overall faculty and will be open to any future recipients of the Regents' Teaching Award. For years in which no Regents' Awards are given, a similar process will be followed for selecting new members.
Academy members have been planning since earlier in the year and already have benefited from meeting and learning from each other, said Karen Dodwell, senior lecturer in the Department of English.
"We've discussed differences among disciplines and differences between teaching a graduate seminar versus a large class in an auditorium," Dodwell said. "It's important to note that the academy will not be advocating a one-size-fits-all technique; rather, we are eager to share what has worked for us with other teachers and also to learn from other teachers."
In addition to being an internal campus resource, Tom Cannon said the establishment of the academy sends a strong message to the community that the university places a high value on its teaching mission.
"Tier One means having excellent teaching faculty and excellent researchers," said Cannon, senior lecturer in the Department of Marketing. "Parents want to send their children to a university that will educate them, teach them and provide them with the skill sets and knowledge to begin their careers."
"From my perspective, the academy shows our external audiences that we have the faculty here who can do that."
Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.
Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.
Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.
Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus
Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus
Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus
The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.
Victor Cyrus, Jr will see his first book of poetry published this fall
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.