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Press Release

CHAPEL HILL, NC – The University of North Carolina Board of Governors has selected some of the University’s most outstanding faculty to receive its 2017 Awards for Excellence in Teaching. The 17 recipients, who represent all 16 of North Carolina’s public universities and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, were nominated by special committees on their home campuses and selected by the Board of Governors’ Committee on Personnel and Tenure.

“We are truly proud of the high-quality education our institutions provide to students,” UNC Board of Governors Chair Lou Bissette said. “The instructors we recognize as the 2017 Excellence in Teaching winners are innovative and creative in their teaching approaches and are making a real difference in student learning.”

Each of the winners will receive a commemorative bronze medallion and a $12,500 cash prize. Awards will be presented by a Board of Governors member during each campus’ spring graduation ceremony.

The 2017 winners are:

  • Tracy Wilson Smith, professor and assistant chair, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Appalachian State University;
  • Patricia A. Clark, professor, School of Theatre and Dance, East Carolina University;
  • Glen Clarence Bowman Jr., professor of history, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Elizabeth City State University;
  • Emily Lenning, associate professor, Department of Criminal Justice, Fayetteville State University;
  • Lisa A. Owens-Jackson, associate professor, Department of Accounting and Finance, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University;
  • S. Charmaine McKissick-Melton, associate professor, Department of Mass Communication, North Carolina Central University;
  • Maria T. Oliver-Hoyo, professor, Department of Chemistry and Science, North Carolina State University;
  • Heidi Kelley, professor of sociology and anthropology, University of North Carolina at Asheville;
  • Jane Thrailkill, associate professor, Department of English and Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill;
  • Matthew Davies, professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering & Engineering Science, University of North Carolina at Charlotte;
  • Sharon Morrison, associate professor of public health education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro;
  • Cherry Maynor Beasley, professor of nursing, University of North Carolina at Pembroke;
  • Joseph Mills, professor in the humanities, Division of Liberal Arts, University of North Carolina School of the Arts;
  • Caroline M. Clements, professor of psychology, University of North Carolina at Wilmington;
  • Julie Johnson-Busbin, professor, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Sports Management, and Hospitality & Tourism School, College of Business, Western Carolina University;
  • Donna Gwyn Wiggins, associate professor, Department of Music, Winston-Salem State University;
  • and Robert R. Gotwals Jr., instructor of chemistry, science department, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.

Short biographies and photos of all 17 award recipients are available on the UNC system website at https://www.northcarolina.edu/Board-Governors-Awards/Teaching-Awards-2017.


About the University of North Carolina: The oldest public university in the nation, the University of North Carolina enrolls nearly 225,000 students and encompasses all 16 of North Carolina’s public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees, as well as the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation’s first public residential high school for academically gifted students. UNC campuses support a broad array of distinguished liberal-arts programs, two medical schools and one teaching hospital, two law schools, a veterinary school, a school of pharmacy, 11 nursing programs, 15 schools of education, five schools of engineering and a renowned arts conservatory.  The UNC Center for Public Television, with its 12-station statewide broadcast network, is also under the University umbrella.

Media Contact:
Camille Barkley, Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications
(919) 843-5037