(July 3, 2019) -- UTSA faculty members Stacey Davis and Dixie Shaw-Tillmon have been selected to receive the 2019 UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. They are among 27 educators from UT System’s 14 academic and health institutions being recognized for their extraordinary classroom performance and innovation in undergraduate instruction.
“These educators are dedicated to continually looking for new and better ways to inspire students to learn and succeed,” said UT System Board of Regents Chairman Kevin Eltife. “And they’re ensuring the next generation, whether they be teachers, scientists or health care providers, is armed with passion and knowledge. Their contributions are immeasurable.”
The honorees will be formally recognized during the UT System Board of Regents meeting on Aug. 14 where they each will be presented with a certificate, a medallion and a check for $25,000.
Davis is an associate professor of music theory and serves as associate chair of the Department of Music in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts. She joined UTSA in 2002 and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music theory, aural skills and music psychology and specializes in music perception and cognition.
“I am honored and grateful to receive this recognition, so much of which is a credit to the many outstanding mentors and colleagues that offer me continuous guidance and support,” shared Davis. “It is a joy and privilege to help UTSA music students explore the ways in which a deeper understanding of music theory can aid their skill development and professional preparation. These students inspire me to continue learning as I strive to be an innovative, engaging and connected teacher.”
Deeply committed to her students’ personal and academic success, Davis is lauded for her impeccable clarity in explaining difficult concepts, for being able to inspire a deep love for music analysis and research, and for her ability to encourage students to maintain curiosity, think critically, develop fluent skills and make connections between all aspects of their musicianship.
“Dr. Davis is the epitome of what it means to be an excellent educator. She is kind, caring, organized and passionate about what she does. Dr. Davis’ courses were always immaculately structured, challenging and some of the most impactful courses in my undergraduate career. Years after graduating, I know that Dr. Davis will always be there to give me support or advice when I reach out to her,” shared Sundas Mohi-Truong ’15, a former student who is now an orchestra director at Tompkins High School in Katy, Texas.
Shaw-Tillmon is a lecturer III in the Writing Program within the University College who has has taught Freshman Composition courses at UTSA since 2005. Her position as one of the first professors UTSA freshmen encounter is one that she takes very seriously. Her teaching philosophy is simple, yet profound – the most innovative action she can take is to teach her students, not just her subject.
Her mission is to make sure her students know they have the ability to succeed as long as they work hard. She provides constant revision options for her students, which allows them to write multiple drafts, get feedback and continually improve their writing and critical thinking skills.
“What I do is not flashy,” says Shaw-Tillmon. “Writing courses rarely make the news with ground-breaking discoveries. But what I do matters to those future scientists, engineers, and business and community leaders because it is my connection with students and my teaching methods that help them stay in school to achieve their dreams.”
Every semester she receives glowing student evaluations that praise her teaching methods and describe her as “amazing,” “caring” and possessing “a wicked sense of humor.” By all accounts she makes every student feel that she truly cares that they succeed not just on their essays but in life.
Beyond her own classroom, Shaw-Tillmon works tirelessly to align the Writing Program curriculum with national best practices, ensuring that UTSA students receive the best instruction possible. Her efforts have earned her the UTSA Quantitative Literacy Program Faculty Excellence Award (2016) and the UTSA President’s Distinguished Achievement Award in Core Curriculum Teaching (2017).
“For many years, Dixie and Stacey have been among the most highly respected instructors at UTSA who have both changed the lives of many students and inspired fellow faculty with their efforts to help students succeed,” said UTSA Senior Vice Provost Heather Shipley, who was a 2012 recipient of the Regents’ Teaching Award and today oversees the university’s faculty success efforts. “I am thrilled that their hard work, innovation and dedication have been recognized beyond UTSA, earning them a place among the state’s most outstanding professors.”
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, 49 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, Davis and Shaw-Tillmon 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.
See the complete list of the 2019 UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award winners.
Celebrate UTSA’s 50th Anniversary and share social media posts about the 50th using the hashtag #UTSA50.
The Racial Justice Book Club was established at UTSA by members of the campus community to explore social justice following acts of racial violence across the nation over the last few years. We are reading The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas by Monica Muñoz Martinez. We will meet every Wednesday in September and October at 2 pm on Zoom.Virtual Event
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at our very own street fair - Calle UTSA. We will have activities, performances, food, music, and piñatas to break open.Student Union Paseo
"La Plática" is a space for thoughtful dialogue to build a sense of connection among the Roadrunner Community by getting to know each other better and sharing what's on our minds and about ourselves to increase to increase awareness of diverse perspectives.Virtual Event
This September 30, the Friday Series will feature Prof. Milena Ang, who will be presenting A Tren to Nowhere: Statistic Development and the Politics of Racial, a paper co-authored with Tania Islas-Weistein where they discuss Mexico's long history of state-led development projects that contribute to economic and racial inequality. The authors argue that despite professing racial justice, official discourses surrounding the Tren Maya reproduce existing symbolic and material forms of racism.McKinney Humanities (MH 4.01.01,) Main Campus
We invite you to learn about the process of screenwriting and explore the intersection of identity and pursuing dreams from Jorge Ramirez-Martinez and Raymond Perez, screenwriters for the Selena: The Series, released on Netflix. They will discuss their careers and writing process, including how their identities as Mexican American and gay men have shaped their professional experiences.Virtual Event
Please join us in remembering those who have entered the next part of life by designing a nicho box in their memory. This workshop will provide the necessary items to create your nicho box, though please remember to bring a photo or small object that can fit in a 3.5 x5x1 inch box (small jewelry box).John Peace Library GroupSpot B, Main Campus
Come celebrate the end of Hispanic Heritage Month with La Comunidad at The University of Texas at San Antonio. We will have food, games and dancing!H-E-B Student Union Ballroom 1 & 2, Main Campus
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.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.