GALVESTON — The University of Texas System Board of Regents has awarded six faculty members at the University of Texas Medical Branch with the board’s highest honor in recognition of their performance in the classroom and their dedication to innovation and advancing excellence.

Considered the top teaching prize in the UT System, the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards program is believed to be among the single largest financial teaching awards program in the country and also one of the nation’s most competitive.

The UTMB recipients are Dr. Michael A. Ainsworth, Vicki S. Freeman, Dr. Richard Wilder Goodgame, Dr. Ruth E. Levine, Dr. Steven A. Lieberman and Virginia N. Niebuhr.

“We are extremely proud of these members of our faculty,” said UTMB’s Dr. Danny O. Jacobs, executive vice president and provost, and dean of the School of Medicine. “They are committed to educational excellence and dedicated to our students.”

Regents Vice Chairman Steven Hicks, chairman of the board’s Academic Affairs Committee, said these teachers are truly “the best of the best.”

Each of these faculty members will receive a $25,000 award and will be honored at a ceremony Wednesday.

Faculty members 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.

Our excellence in teaching faculty is a critical part of the System’s vision of an institution of the first class,” said UT System Chancellor Dr. Francisco G. Cigarroa.

At a glance

The University of Texas System Board of Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award recipients at the University of Texas Medical Branch for 2014:

  • Dr. Michael A. Ainsworth

“My goal is to help students understand their strengths, appreciate what they need to learn and know when to ask for help.”

  • Vicki S. Freeman

“As a teacher, I seek to guide students through the learning process by inspiring them to learn, then providing them with a variety of materials and experiences so they feel engaged in their field of study.”

  • Dr. Richard Wilder Goodgame

“To teach once is to learn twice. I teach to learn; I learn to teach. The valued gifts that good teachers bring to lectures and teachable moments: accuracy, brevity, clarity, energy, levity and memory.”

  • Dr. Ruth E. Levine

“I believe that being a good teacher is kind of like being a therapist; under the best of circumstances the student should come away feeling supported, enlightened and with an increased understanding not just about the subject at hand but about themselves.”

  • Dr. Steven A. Lieberman

“Our students are so talented and motivated, with a fertile environment and attentive mentoring, they will far exceed our expectations.”

  • Virginia N. Niebuhr

“John Dewey said, ‘If we teach today like we taught yesterday, we rob our students of tomorrow.’”

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.