Austin M. Gleeson, professor of physics and electromagnetism, has been selected to receive the 2008 Jean Holloway Award for Teaching Excellence.
The Holloway Award began in 1970, when Jean and Sterling Holloway endowed one of The University of Texas at Austin's first teaching awards to formally establish that students should play a role in the selection of teaching awards. Since then, each spring, a group of 10 students - five from the College of Liberal Arts and five from the College of Natural Sciences - have come together to read and evaluate nominations made by fellow students and to select the recipient of the Jean Holloway Award for Excellence in Teaching.
According to the Holloways, "The person selected should demonstrate warmth of spirit, concern for society and the individual, and the ability to impart knowledge while challenging students to independent inquiry and creative thought, as well as respect for and understanding of the permanent values of our culture." The award features a stipend that was valued at $1,000 in 1971 and is adjusted every-other-year to have the same purchasing power.
Gleeson received a B.S. in Physics from Drexel Institute of Technology in 1960, an M.S. in Physics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1963 and a Ph.D. in Physics from University of Pennsylvania in 1965. He has been teaching at the university since 1969. Of his teaching, one student said, "Dr. Gleeson loves what he teaches, he loves his students, and he inspires his students to take something away from his class." Of his own teaching philosophy, Gleeson says, "Successful learning requires student engagement with the material. I strive to achieve this everyday in my classes."