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Regents award $25,000 to 14 outstanding educators at UT institutions

Fourteen innovative and dedicated educators at UT institutions throughout the state were presented with a 2021 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award during the Board of Regents meeting today.

Recipients will each receive a medallion and a check for $25,000 in recognition of their contributions to student success and learning.

“The best way to ensure students get the full promise of a UT degree is to provide them with outstanding faculty,” Board of Regents Chairman Kevin P. Eltife said. “On behalf of the Board of Regents, I extend our profound appreciation to these educators for their commitment to teaching excellence and passion for serving students.”

“I’m delighted we are able to recognize these exceptional educators who are so committed to engaging, teaching, and supporting their students,” Chancellor James B. Milliken said. “I’m grateful to the Board of Regents for recognizing their impact on our students and our campuses.”

The University of Texas System Board of Regents established the annual awards program in 2008 to honor exemplary classroom performance.

Nominees undergo a series of rigorous evaluations by students, peer faculty and external reviewers. The review panels consider a range of activities and criteria in their evaluations of a candidate's teaching performance, including classroom expertise, curricula quality, innovative course development and student learning outcomes.

The 2021 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards winners are:

Academic institutions

  • Gina Amatangelo, assistant professor of practice, Department of Public Administration, UT San Antonio
  • Nathaniel Brickens, professor, Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music, UT Austin
  • Carol Cirulli Lanham, associate professor of instruction, Department of Sociology, UT Dallas
  • Janice Fischer, professor, Department of Molecular Biosciences, UT Austin
  • Luca Pozzi, assistant professor, Department of Anthropology, UT San Antonio
  • Alicia Rueda-Acedo, associate professor, Department of Modern Languages, UT Arlington
  • Josef Sifuentes, assistant professor, School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, UT Rio Grande Valley

Health institutions

  • Marjan Afrouzian, associate professor, Department of Pathology, UT Medical Branch at Galveston
  • Harold Henson, associate professor, Department of Periodontics and Dental Hygiene, UTHealth Houston
  • Annette Occhialini, associate professor, Long School of Medicine, UT Health San Antonio
  • Vivyenne Roche, professor of internal medicine, UT Southwestern
  • Claire Singletary, professor, Departments of Pediatrics and of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, UTHealth Houston
  • Barbara Taylor, associate professor of infectious diseases, UT Health San Antonio
  • Ching-Wei Tzeng, associate professor of surgical oncology, UT MD Anderson

To learn more about this year’s recipients, visit the website for the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award and watch this video, which was shown at the Board of Regents meeting.

About The University of Texas System

For more than 130 years, The University of Texas System has been committed to improving the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care. With 13 institutions, an enrollment of more than 243,000 students and an operating budget of $23.4 billion (FY 2022), the UT System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions produce more than 64,000 graduates annually and award more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and more than half of its medical degrees. Collectively, UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics accounted for more than 8.6 million outpatient visits and almost 1.8 million hospital days in 2020. UT institutions also are among the most innovative in the world, collectively ranking No. 4 for most U.S. patents granted in 2020, and the UT System is No. 1 in Texas and No. 2 in the nation in federal research expenditures. The UT System also is one of the largest employers in Texas, with more than 21,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and more than 85,000 health care professionals, researchers and support staff.

News Contact Information

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