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UT News

Two UT Professors Recognized for Innovative Teaching

Erika Bsumek, associate professor of history, and Mark Daniels, professor of mathematics, have been recognized for their commitment to student success with the 2018 Regents’ Oustanding Teaching Award. 

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AUSTIN— Erika Bsumek, associate professor of history, and Mark Daniels, professor of mathematics, want to help students think differently about the world around them.

They are among twenty-seven faculty members from The University of Texas 14 academic and health institutions who have been named recipients of the 2018 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. The awards recognize innovative teaching and commitment to student success. They each will receive $25,000 in recognition of their commitment to student success.

In the past, STEM and humanities have been taught separately to different students in different share classes in different colleges on campus. Erika Bsumek is changing that. Through classes like Building America: Engineering Society and Culture, 1868-1980, for example, she teaches both humanities and STEM majors how technology affects the world that surrounds them works and how history and politics shape technological advances.

Mark Daniels is helping help students become independent thinkers and life-long learners by changing how STEM is taught. Through his work with UTeach, the Discovery Learning Project and the Inquiry Based Learning Project he is helping teachers create more opportunities for students to question and discover rather than just consume information – more creating projects, less taking tests.

Over the last decade, Regents have awarded more than $19 million to 700 UT educators for delivering the highest quality of instruction in the classroom, lab, field and online.

“We are indebted to these educators who exemplify great teaching on every level,” Board of Regents Chairman Sara Martinez Tucker said. “These are educators, researchers and health care professionals who – no matter how long they’ve been teaching – never stop thinking about new and innovative ways to enhance the learning experience.”

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.

Recipients of the 2018 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards will be recognized Aug. 9 at a reception held in conjunction with the Board of Regents meeting in Austin.

A full list of honorees from all UT System institutions is available here.