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Four UTRGV faculty members named recipients of UT Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards

By Melissa Vasquez

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – JUNE 15, 2017 – Three UTRGV faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts and one professor from the College of Engineering and Computer Science have been honored with one of the highest and most prestigious awards in the nation that recognizes teaching excellence – the 2017 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards (ROTA).

The 2017 UTRGV ROTA recipients are:

  • Mounir Ben Ghalia, Ph.D., professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science.
  • Alyssa Guadalupe Cavazos, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Writing and Language Studies, College of Liberal Arts.
  • Andrew S. Hollinger, M.F.A., lecturer II, Department of Writing and Language Studies, College of Liberal Arts.
  • Amy A. Weimer, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Psychological Science, College of Liberal Arts.

“We are extremely proud of our faculty and we celebrate their success,” said Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. ‘This honor exemplifies the level of outstanding faculty we have at UTRGV, and supports our institutional priority of student success.

“These exceptional educators transform our students’ lives every day as teachers, mentors and scholars. Their teaching excellence has and will continue to transform the higher education landscape locally and globally,” he said.

In all, 56 faculty members from across The UT System’s 14 academic and health institutions have been recognized.

Since 2008, ROTA has recognized tenured, tenure-track and contingent faculty, including lecturers, adjuncts and instructional assistants, who have demonstrated extraordinary classroom performance and innovative instruction.

“The Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards is one of the nation’s largest awards programs to honor exceptional instruction in the university classroom,” said Paul Foster, chairman of the UT System Board of Regents. “It is a reflection of the value the University of Texas System and the Board of Regents place on extraordinary teaching and student success, and it represents our profound appreciation to these wonderful educators and the life-changing impact they have on students at UT institutions.”

Students, peer faculty and external reviewers evaluate the award recipients on a range of activities and criteria regarding their teaching performance, including classroom expertise, curricula quality, innovative course development and student learning outcomes.

Each honoree receives $25,000 and will be recognized at a ceremony Aug. 23 in Austin.

A complete list of winners by institution will be available later this summer on the ROTA website.

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