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Two UTSA faculty honored with 2018 Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award

Two UTSA faculty honored with 2018 Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award

T. Jackie Cuevas (photo by Cindy Elizabeth) and Jennifer Dilley

(June 20, 2018) -- Two UTSA faculty members have been selected to receive the 2018 Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award (ROTA) from The University of Texas System. They are among 27 educators from UT System's 14 academic and health institutions being honored with this prestigious annual award.

The UTSA recipients are:

  • T. Jackie Cuevas, assistant professor, Department of English
  • Jennifer Dilley ‘08, lecturer II, Department of History

Each of the honorees will receive an unrestricted check for $25,000 and will be recognized for their achievement at an Aug. 9 dinner in Austin.

“Congratulations to Dr. Cuevas and Professor Dilley on being named among the most dedicated, dynamic and effective teachers in the UT System,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, UTSA provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We have outstanding faculty at UTSA and are proud to see them recognized for their innovative work in preparing our students to be thoughtful, engaged and world-ready citizens.”

Cuevas is an assistant professor of Latina/o literary and cultural studies in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts Department of English who teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in Latino literature, Mexican American literature, literary theory and women’s studies. In her classroom she models the traits she encourages her students to employ – preparedness, curiosity, creativity, and above all, kindness. Through interactive teaching that creates lively discussions and inspires critical thinking, Cuevas co-creates with her students a space that fosters productive engagement with the world of literature and the world at large.

Cuevas is a first-generation college graduate and faculty member and serves as a faculty coach for PIVOT first-generation students. She earned her Ph.D. in English at UT Austin and served as assistant professor at Syracuse University prior to joining UTSA in the fall of 2013.

Dilley has taught U.S. history and world civilizations as a lecturer II in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts Department of History since 2008. Over the past decade, she has become a master teacher who offers engaging assignments and leads enthusiastic lectures and discussions that center on historical relevancy. She skillfully utilizes many active learning strategies and continues to adapt, expand, and innovate her classroom experience every semester in an effort to inform, inspire, and prepare the world’s future leaders.

Dilley earned her M.A. in History from UTSA in 2008. In addition to teaching full-time at UTSA, she serves as the department’s core curriculum quantitative literacy coordinator, whereby she is responsible for writing assignments and rubrics to help properly assess the core curriculum student learning outcomes for quantitative literacy across the department.

The ROTA program was established in 2008 to recognize faculty who demonstrate a history and promising future of sustained excellence in undergraduate teaching. Including this year's recipients, 47 UTSA faculty members have received the award. A list of past recipients is available on the UTSA Faculty Awards website.

ROTA recipients are vetted at their own institutions before advancing to compete at the system level. Then, candidates from each institution are evaluated by a selection committee of distinguished educators from both in and outside the UT System.

In their evaluations of a candidate's teaching performance, members of the selection committee consider a range of activities and criteria including classroom expertise, curricula quality, innovative course development and student learning outcomes.

Because of the depth and breadth of educators across the UT System, the awards are among the nation's most competitive.

This fall, Cuevas and Dilley will become the newest members of the UTSA Academy for Distinguished Teaching Scholars, a group comprised of ROTA winners that provides institutional leadership and guidance for excellent teaching at UTSA.

K.C. Gonzalez

 Learn more about the UT System Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards.

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