UA Honors Teaching Award Winners
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama National Alumni Association has announced the 2012 recipients of the University’s highest honor for excellence in teaching – the Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Awards.
This year’s recipients are: Dr. Jason Edward Black of the College of Communication and Information Sciences, Dr. Ryan L. Earley of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Robert Glenn Richey Jr. of the College of Commerce and Business Administration and Dr. Elizabeth K. “Liza” Wilson of the College of Education.
The 2012 OCTA recipients were recognized today by UA President Guy Bailey at the fall faculty/staff meeting in the Bryant Conference Center. A presentation of awards is also held at NorthRiver Yacht Club with NAA President Sabrina Keating.
Established in 1976, OCTA recognizes dedication to the teaching profession and the positive impact outstanding teachers have on their students. The NAA, which gives the annual OCTA awards, is made up of more than 33,000 active alumni and friends of the University organized into more than 100 local chapters nationwide. The association stimulates interest in and supports the betterment of the University and awards more than $4 million per year in academic scholarships.
The 2012 OCTA winners are:
Dr. Jason Edward Black has been an associate professor in the department of communication studies since 2005. He is also the assistant dean for Undergraduate Student Services in C&IS, an affiliate professor in the department of gender and race studies, and an adviser for the Student Executive Council and the Alabama Student Society for the Communication Arts.
He teaches a number of undergraduate courses (from introductory to senior level) along with graduate seminars at the master’s and doctoral levels. in addition, he advises scores of undergraduates, mentors graduate students and helps guide numerous independent studies and practicum projects every year.
During the last seven years, Black has made it a priority to ensure that students have a voice both within the classroom and within the larger community. He has worked to activate, encourage and inspire students to make a difference by supporting student projects related to civic engagement and social change. He has led a number of student leadership groups and works with hundreds of undergraduates each year as an adviser and mentor.
He has published numerous articles in the area of rhetorical studies and social change, and has mentored some 40 master’s students, directed or co-directed 13 master’s theses, and has guided to completion or currently advising six doctoral projects relating to rhetorical studies and social change issues.
Black received his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in communication studies from Florida State University, his master’s degree in communication from Wake Forest University and his doctorate in communication from the University of Maryland. He is the recipient of the Knox Hagood Faculty Award and the Board of Trustees Outstanding Teaching Award at UA, among his numerous honors.
Dr. Ryan L. Earley joined the UA faculty in the department of biological sciences in 2008.
He has taught both introductory and upper-level courses that challenge students to think creatively and synthetically about fundamentally important concepts in biology by engaging them in the process of scientific inquiry and exposing them to the most up-to-the-minute scientific advances. However, the bulk of his teaching has occurred outside the classroom, where he has mentored more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students in his four years at UA.
Earley has been invited to lecture at 52 universities internationally. He and his research students have published some 50 manuscripts and have delivered more than 150 presentations at regional, national and international conferences and symposia. He serves on the University Core Curriculum Oversight Committee and is an editor for two academic journals.
Earley received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Syracuse University and his master’s and doctorate degrees in biology from the University of Louisville. He has been nominated for the UA-AAA Academic Advising Excellence Award and awarded an Arts of Sciences Teaching Grant.
Dr. Robert Glenn Richey Jr., associate professor of marketing and management in C&BA, also holds an associate professorship at the University of Edinburgh, where he assists with research and teaching. He has taught across six continents and has led numerous UA study abroad trips to countries around the world. He also enjoys mentoring doctoral students.
Richey has published more than 60 articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals. He also serves on several editorial review boards and has co-edited and served as associate editor of distinguished journals in his field.
He has served as faculty adviser for numerous groups at UA, including Omicron Delta Kappa, American Marketing Association, Net Impact, Crimson Chaos, Kappa Sigma and Society of Global MBAs.
Richey received his bachelor’s degree from UA, his master of business administration from Middle Tennessee State University and his doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. He has won multiple graduate and undergraduate teaching awards at UA and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Phi Kappa Phi National Honorary and the Pinnacle National Honor Society.
Dr. Elizabeth K. “Liza” Wilson became a member of the UA faculty in the College of Education department of curriculum and instruction in 1991. At UA, Wilson has been coordinator of the Clinical Master Teacher Program in Secondary Education, which has been a model program for universities nationwide.
She has served in several leadership positions in the college, including program chair and department head of secondary education, department head of curriculum and instruction, as well as serving as executive director of the Alabama Consortium for Education Renewal.
Wilson’s classes promote authentic teaching and learning experiences for her students. As part of that philosophy, she regularly incorporates service learning activities into her teaching regimen and conducts her University courses in local high schools so that her students have access to classrooms, teachers and students. Additionally, she works with K-12 schools and communities to bolster educational programs and opportunities. She is co-founder and board member of the Holt Community Partnership.
Wilson received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in secondary education from UA and her doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction from Louisiana State University. She has been named a Paul W. Bryant Professor and a Faculty Fellow for Service Learning, has received the College of Education Academic Excellence Award and the Ross Palmer Service to Students Faculty Award, and she has received multiple awards for publications that she co-authored.
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.