Teaching excellence

Each year the Texas Exes allow students of The University of Texas at Austin to choose the best professors and teaching assistants to receive the Texas Exes Teaching Award.

"This award embodies the students' voices and their appreciation of work done," said Kathryn Starkes, one of the professors honored this year. "When I was first notified that I had won a Texas Exes Teaching Award for the College of Education, I was humbled. I am a teacher first always will be and my students are my biggest priority."

Kathryn Starkes
Clinical Assistant Professor Kathryn Starkes teaches in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the university's College of Education.Photo: Marsha Miller

Starkes was nominated by students who cited her dedication and enthusiasm, as well as her ability to help students learn and use what they have learned outside of the classroom.

"Her positive energy and motivating lectures make us leave each class period with a new and exciting idea to use in our fieldwork," said Jackie Grotrian, one of the students who nominated Starkes.

"She has been our rock, our motivation, our mentor, and above all else, an incredible teacher," said Rachael Andruccioli, a student in her classroom management course.

Starkes is just one of 30 recipients who will be honored with the award this year.

A total of 613 nominations were received, and selection committees from each school and college reviewed the applications, looking for teachers who 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.

The recipients one professor and one teaching assistant, or assistant instructor, from each school or college will be presented with their awards at a ceremony on campus in late February. The awards come with a check for $1,000 for professors and $500 for teaching assistants.

This year's professor honorees are Lois Weinthal, Architecture; Clint Tuttle, Business; Courtney Byrd, Communication; Kathryn Starkes, Education; Jennifer Maynard, Engineering; Scott Kanoff, Fine Arts; Jay Banner, Geosciences; Karen Pavelka, Information; Billie Ellis Jr., Law; Kirsten Bradbury, Liberal Arts; Nicola Davies, Natural Sciences; Megan Pfitzinger Lippe, Nursing; Veronica Young, Pharmacy; Angela Evans, Public Affairs; and Shane Whalley, Social Work.

This year's graduate instructor honorees are Britni Harvison, Architecture; Vinay Mohan, Business; Kellyn Wieland, Communication; Christian Zúñiga, Education; Ted Junseok Song, Engineering; Rebecca Atkins, Fine Arts; Goodwin Wharton, Geosciences; Jessica Meyerson, Information; Betsy Stukes, Law; Corinne Greiner, Liberal Arts; John Schocken, Natural Sciences; Julie Zuñiga, Nursing; Michael Sandoval, Pharmacy; Justin Baker, Public Affairs; and Isaac Akapnitis, Social Work.