Teaching Excellence | Beaufort County Now | ECU honors faculty during University Teaching Awards ceremony

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    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of ECU News Services. The author of this post is Ken Buday.

ECU Chancellor Philip Rogers speaks during the University Teaching Awards ceremony in Harvey Hall.(Photos by Cliff Hollis)


    East Carolina University celebrated its faculty during the 2022 University Teaching Awards ceremony Thursday night at the Murphy Center.

    Chancellor Philip Rogers presided over the night's festivities, crediting all ECU faculty members and award recipients for their strength, passion and creativity to ensuring the success of students, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    "Thank you for ensuring that we deliver on our mission each and every day," Rogers said. "Thank you for your engagement on campus here at ECU. Thank you for your creativity and innovation in the classroom. Thank you for going the extra mile with respect to the way we deliver on our mission of student success. Thank you for so effectively integrating research and scholarship into the classroom experience, for embracing service learning opportunities, for thinking of creative ways we can engage in digital, online and distance education and delivery, and just thank you for being outstanding and excellent in all that you do. We are grateful for your service and your dedication."

    Dr. Teresa Ryan, associate professor and director of engineering research in the Department of Engineering, was named ECU's recipient of the UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching. The honor recognizes a sustained career record of distinguished teaching by a tenured faculty member.

    In a video played during the ceremony, students described Ryan as someone who cares about students and their success, with one simply stating that she is "the best teacher ever."

    In her acceptance speech, Ryan thanked her husband, leadership, faculty and staff in the College of Engineering and Technology and the Department of Engineering, and all those who have supported her.

    She described a circuitous path to get to ECU, a path that included teaching marching band and drum corps. She admitted she didn't know about ECU when she applied for her job but quickly realized it was the right fit.

    "I knew about an hour into my interview that I'd found something truly special here, a department that truly valued the educational part of this professorial call of duty," Ryan said. "And here I am, almost a decade later, at home."

    She said she carries optimism and enthusiasm with her each day, traits that are given back to her by the students she teaches.

    "I expect to find excellent human beings in my classroom who are here to carve out some better trajectory for themselves," Ryan said. "And over the years as I continue to expect it and cultivate it, their success, their passion and their enthusiasm reinforces the cycle."

    Other faculty members recognized with awards during the ceremony include:

    Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award

    In recognition of full-time faculty who have demonstrated excellent or exceptional teaching ability.

  • Marina Alexander, associate professor, interior design and merchandising, College of Health and Human Performance
  • John Drake, associate professor, management and information systems, College of Business
  • Erin Field, assistant professor, biology, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences
  • Nicole Franklin, teaching instructor, voice/music, College of Fine Arts and Communication
  • Melinda Kane, associate professor, sociology, Thomas Harriot College of Fine Arts and Communication
  • Elizabeth Mizelle, associate professor, baccalaureate education, College of Nursing

    Service-Learning Teaching Excellence Award

    In recognition of unique time, effort and planning necessary for successful academic service-learning instruction.

  • Melissa Hudson, associate professor, special education, foundations and research, College of Education

    Max Ray Joyner Award

    In recognition of outstanding teaching in distance education.

  • Subodh Dutta, teaching assistant professor, chemistry, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

    Alumni Association and Robert L. Jones Awards

    In recognition of faculty who exemplify the characteristics of effective teaching promoted by the ECU faculty manual.

  • Jacquelyn Mallette, assistant professor, human development and family science, College of Health and Human Performance
  • Andrea VanDeusen, assistant professor, music education and music therapy, College of Fine Arts and Communication

    Robert L. Jones Teaching Award

    Presented by alumnus Robert L. Jones.

  • Lisa Bennett, senior teaching instructor, chemistry, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

    Scholar Teacher Awards

    In recognition of faculty who effectively integrate research and or creative activity with their teaching roles.

  • Jamie Dewitt, associate professor, pharmacology and toxicology, Brody School of Medicine
  • Thompson Forbes, assistant professor, MSN and DNP leadership, College of Nursing
  • O'Neil Harris, professor, finance, College of Business
  • Jin-Ae Kang, associate professor, communication, College of Fine Arts and Communication
  • Bethany McKissick, associate professor, special education, foundations and research, College of Education
  • Kathrin Rothermich, assistant professor, communication sciences and disorders, College of Allied Health Sciences
  • Alan Taylor, associate professor, human development and family science, College of Health and Human Performance
  • Ali Vahdati, assistant professor, engineering, College of Engineering and Technology

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