Rotich Receives Award for Excellence in Teaching

Dr. Jerono Rotich of North Carolina A&T State University has been selected by the UNC Board of Governors as one of 17 recipients of the board’s 2015 Awards for Excellence in Teaching.

Rotich is an associate professor in N.C. A&T’s department of human performance and leisure studies.

“Students and colleagues alike praise her commitment, enthusiasm, integrity, and genuine concern for students inside and outside the classroom,” the board’s citation says. “Her goal is to produce change agents, critical thinkers, bridge builders, and global leaders who can serve as advocates and role models in a diverse and technologically advanced global society.”

She teaches in the areas of health, fitness and safety. Her research interests include multicultural / diversity activities and cultural competency, physical activity promotion, youth and community sports, and health and safety.

Rotich says the award is “humbling.”

“It would be impossible for me to be here without the teachers who believed in me and mentored me,” she says. She is a mentor herself, serving as her department’s retention and advisement coordinator.

In addition to her teaching and research, she received A&T’s 2014 Community Engagement Award in recognition of her diverse efforts on behalf of immigrants and refugees. Her activities focus on immigrant and refugee health, acculturation, behavior modification, youth empowerment, and cross-cultural competency.

She also has a particular interest in studying and advancing the practice of teaching. She developed a Global Studies course that allows A&T students to learn and work together with students in China, Senegal, and India via Skype and FaceTime.

Students in the course are enthusiastic about the experience of working on projects and presentations with students in the other countries.

“They love it,” she says. “It has been a transformative experience. I wish everyone could take this course.”

Rotich came to A&T in 2005. Born in Kenya, she received her bachelor’s degree in physical education from Kenyatta University in Nairobi. She began her teaching and coaching career in Kenya at the K-12, college and university levels.

She coached track and field, field hockey, handball and soccer. She served as coach of the Kenyan women’s national track and field team from 1990 to 1994.

Rotich earned her master’s degree in physical education from the State University of New York at Brockport and her doctorate in exercise science, health and physical education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

The UNC Board of Governors Awards for Excellence in Teaching are presented annually to one faculty member at each of the system’s 17 campuses. The recipients are nominated by committees on their home campuses and selected by the Board of Governors’ Committee on Personnel and Tenure.