Dr. Teresa Jo Styles of the journalism and mass communication department, has been awarded one of 17 UNC Board of Governors Teaching Excellence Awards. The awards were established in 1994 to underscore the importance of teaching and to reward good teaching across the university system. The awards are given annually to a tenured faculty member from each UNC campus. Winners must have taught at their present institutions at least seven years. No one may receive the award more than once.

Each award winner will receive a commemorative bronze medallion and a $7,500 cash prize. The recipients, representing various academic disciplines, were nominated by special committees on their home campuses and selected by the Board of Governors Committee on Personnel and Tenure. She will be presented with the award during A&T’s Spring commencement.

Styles was also named teacher of the year for the college of the arts and sciences. She has a deep and lasting impact on her students, both in and outside the classroom. As a teacher, she infuses her courses with first-hand experience from her extensive background in professional journalism, creating a classroom environment that keeps students enthused about learning. She holds students to the highest expectations, often exceeding those they have set for themselves. A former student, now working with “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” credits her constant focus on excellence with his success, “She challenged students to think deeper, and work harder than we had ever worked before ... it is the things I learned from Dr. Styles that helped me get where I am today.”

In addition to Styles, North Carolina A&T State University has honored more of its outstanding faculty members with the highest teaching awards in their respective schools and colleges for the 2011-12 academic year. Each recipient has received a plaque and $1,000 for their accomplishment.

Dr. DeWayne Randolph Brown received the award for the School of Technology. He encourages his students to exchange ideas, discuss questions, and learn from each another through dialogue. He believes their knowledge becomes more meaningful and relevant to their professional careers when students are presented with concepts and principles to which they can relate. One of his former students states, “Dr. Brown stood out as my best professor because he was extremely knowledgeable in the subject matter, served enthusiastically as a mentor, and possessed genuine interest in me as an advisor. His door was always open and he was more than willing to help.”

Dr. Lisa Gueldenzoph Snyder received the award for the School of Business and Economics. Snyder uses constructivist pedagogy to engage students in active learning experiences that effectively prepare them for the workplace. Interaction is emphasized, especially in her online classes, to ensure that students not only master the course content, but also improve their critical thinking and communication skills. As her students stated in their letters of support, Snyder “stands out because of her character and genuine concern for her students. … she goes above and beyond to make sure that her students are successful.”

Dr. Robin Guill Liles has been honored in the School of Education. Liles says student energy drives the excitement in her classroom – it is from her students that she receives both professional and personal renewal and refreshment. To encourage student development beyond the classroom, Liles engages students in a variety of professional activities, including co-authoring journal articles, conducting research and presenting at professional conferences. Throughout her work, Liles emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills, enabling her students to educate themselves long after they have departed her classroom.

Dr. Steven Jiang has been honored in the College of Engineering. His teaching philosophy is exemplified by a famous quote from Confucius: “Tell me, I will forget. Show me, I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand.” Jiang promotes active student involvement in the learning process and maintains a learner-centered approach in his teaching. As one of his students notes, “Dr. Jiang is a highly dedicated professional who knows how to motivate his students to strive for excellence ... he is a great mentor, an accomplished researcher, and a devoted teacher who has had a tremendous impact on the lives of numerous students.”

Dr. Kenrett Jefferson-Moore was awarded in the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. Jefferson-Moore is also a former co-recipient of the N.C. A&T Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award. She is recognized for her dedication to developing students as future leaders in the food and agribusiness industry. When asked by one of her students what “success” meant to her, Jefferson-Moore quickly responded, “Success to me means seeing the lasting impact that I have on my students.” Her educational impact is clear. That same student notes, “Dr. Jefferson-Moore is a wonderful person, great teacher, and an amazing advisor. I am so fortunate to be under her guidance.”

Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award Bios

Dr. Sonya Draper, an assistant professor in the School of Technology has been awarded the Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award. Her teaching emphasizes hands-on problem solving activities and team-based projects that improve students’ creative and critical thinking skills. As one of her students states, “Dr. Draper prepares you for life after college by utilizing a variety of teaching techniques and skills. …She is tough, but fair, and always takes time to listen and help you work through problems. Thank you Dr. Draper!”

Dr. Lemuria Carter, an assistant professor in the School of Business & Economics, has also been awarded the Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award. She enjoys the opportunity to inspire young minds and mentor aspiring professionals. One of her students writes, “Dr. Carter provides challenging assignments that incorporate business examples and current events to help us understand the practical relevance of course content. … her passion for education and dedication to students is admirable. She not only exposed us to interesting concepts, but also challenged us to develop our written and oral communication skills."