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2021 Excellence in Teaching

Excellence in Teaching is bestowed by the Office of the Chancellor and the Teaching Council of the Faculty Senate to honor outstanding work in the classroom.

Courtney Wright

Courtney WrightCourtney N. Wright joined the faculty in 2008. She is an associate professor and director of undergraduate studies and the honors program in the School of Communication Studies and co-director of the Intergroup Dialogue and Conflict Resolution (IGD+CR) Program. Her teaching and research activities focus on interpersonal communication, conflict management and communicating across differences.

What does being a Volunteer mean to you? How has UT empowered you to make a difference in a way you might not have imagined elsewhere?

Since joining the faculty in 2008, I have pursued intersections between my teaching, research and service in ways that have allowed me to collaborate with diverse students, faculty, and staff. During this time, I have learned so much about what it can and should mean to be a Volunteer. The insights from these experiences, particularly those shared with my students, have been significant sources of commitment and inspiration throughout my career.

I hope that my teaching infuses a Volunteer spirit of humility and courage in students—inspiring them to use effective interpersonal communication, conflict management and inclusive outreach and engagement to serve and lead others. Today, I believe there is great potential and an even greater need for our university community to live out the Volunteer mission to its fullest. I am committed to continuing to contribute to those efforts.

Lauren Whitnah

Lauren Whitnah is senior lecturer in history and medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Maged Guerguis

Maged GuerguisMaged Guerguis is an assistant professor of design and structural technology, the McCarty Holsaple McCarty Endowed Professor, and the director of Soft Boundaries, a multidisciplinary laboratory investigating the intersections of architecture and science. His teaching methodology bridges the gap between academia and practice, preparing the next generation of world-class architects.

What does being a Volunteer mean to you? How has UT empowered you to make a difference in a way you might not have imagined elsewhere?

After fifteen years of practice, I joined UT through a unique collaboration with UT Governor’s Chair, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM). As the lead designer of AMIE 1.0, the world’s largest 3D-printed polymer structure, I learned how to push the boundaries of cutting-edge research to find optimal and innovative solutions for energy independence.

As a Vol, I am empowered to utilize advanced architectural research and education to greatly impact our society and the environment. A recent example is the Mozambique Studio, where we developed a master plan for Hlauleka high school in Chokwe, Mozambique, which was recently hit by Cyclone Idai. This was an opportunity to make a difference in the lives and futures of children in need and for our architecture students to help in a tangible way.

Robert Richardson

Robert RichardsonRob Richardson is a clinical faculty member in educational psychology and counseling, where he helps train school psychologists and directs the University-Assisted Community Schools, which leverages university and community resources to support the work of public schools. Rob teaches classes on Special Education, assessment, and implementation in schools.

What does being a Volunteer mean to you? How has UT empowered you to make a difference in a way you might not have imagined elsewhere?

University of Tennessee has fantastic students, and excellent support for teaching. I was especially impressed by the quality of the support that I received from the university to pivot to online instruction during the pandemic. Great people and great community, that’s what makes being a Volunteer uniquely wonderful!