UA Alumni Association Honors Four Faculty Members with Teaching Awards
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama National Alumni Association has announced the 2013 recipients of the University’s highest honor for excellence in teaching – the Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Awards.
This year’s recipients are: Sarah Barry and Dr. James McNaughton of the College of Arts and Sciences; Teri K. Henley of the College of Communication and Information Sciences; and Joanne Terrell of the School of Social Work.
Anne Williamson, district vice president of the National Alumni Association, recognized, along with UA President Judy Bonner, the 2013 OCTA recipients at the Wednesday, Nov. 13 fall faculty-staff meeting in the Bryant Conference Center. An awards presentation also occurs at the NorthRiver Yacht Club with National Alumni Association President Charlie Schaeffer.
Established in 1976, the Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award recognizes dedication to the teaching profession and the positive impact outstanding teachers have on their students. The National Alumni Association, 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 a year in academic scholarships.
The 2013 OCTA winners are:
Sarah M. Barry, associate professor of theatre and dance, joined the faculty in 2006. Since her arrival, she has taught a wide variety of classes, engaging in many collaborative, creative research projects and serving the dance program in leadership and outreach roles.
Barry has taught all levels of modern dance technique, dance history and choreography classes. She enjoys connecting all aspects of dance by including anatomy, somatic and history in her technique classes. She has also established the only service-learning course offered in her department by enhancing the Approaches to Dance Instruction class. In a partnership with Tuscaloosa City Schools, Barry takes students enrolled in this class to teach dance to elementary students for several weeks during their PE class time. UA students gain hands-on teaching experience and city school students enjoy dance instruction not available otherwise in the public schools.
Barry has choreographed 13 new dances for the department’s pre-professional company, Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre, in addition to creating works for the Dance Collection, Sanspointe Dance Company and a commissioned work for the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Some of these dances have traveled to the American College Dance Festival, where her work has been honored by choreographers from across the nation. More recently, she has been working with dance on film. Her screen dance “there, again” was one of 23 shorts selected for the 2012 San Francisco Dance Film Festival. She also received an NEA grant to restage Jose Limon’s 1956 masterwork “There is a Time” for the Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre
Barry earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Fine Arts in modern dance from the University of Utah.
Teri K. Henley, instructor, joined the faculty of the department of advertising and public relations in 2007. Throughout her 25-year academic career, she has provided her students the opportunity to be involved in “real life” service experiences to instill in them an ethic of service and a lifetime commitment of civic participation. She is adviser for the student-run Capstone Agency, which implemented campaigns, including Alabama Reads, a statewide initiative funded by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Alabama Public Libraries, in 2010. Most recently, the agency received more than $200,000 in grants from The Century Council to implement the award-winning LessThanUThink anti-binge drinking campaign, first at UA, then statewide during spring break 2012 and then in Orange County, Calif. The program brought Shaquille O’Neal to UA to shoot a PSA for the project. Henley has garnered more than 50 local regional and national awards including the Public Relations Society of America Silver Anvil Award of Excellence in 2011 and the Teahan National Chapter Award for University Service from the Public Relations Student Society of America in 2012.
Henley serves as adviser to the UA Public Relations Bateman Competition team, which achieved a national honorable mention each of the past two years. Last year, the team partnered with Tuscaloosa City Schools for an anti-bullying campaign and received the UA Center for Community Based Partnerships Award for Outstanding Initiated Student Project. Since 2009, she has been adviser for UA’s National Student Advertising Competition Team, landing two district wins and two national second place honors in five years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in speech communications/public relations from Auburn University and an MBA from Auburn University at Montgomery.
Dr. James McNaughton is an assistant professor in the English department. He joined the faculty in 2007 after teaching a year as a senior fellow in the Blount Undergraduate Initiative. He teaches graduate seminars on literary modernism and a broad range of undergraduate courses, from sophomore surveys of British literature to senior-level courses on 20th-century poetry, modernism and literature between the wars. He recently established Alabama in Ireland, a study abroad program in conjunction with the National University of Ireland, Galway, where UA students take classes with Galway faculty and also study James Joyce’s “Ulysses” with McNaughton. He works with numerous undergraduate, master’s and doctoral English students at all stages of their studies and theses.
McNaughton aspires to the goals of good teaching that many others share: to help students to become more precise critical thinkers and better writers; to deepen and complicate the rich pleasures they take in literature and the arts; and to understand the intellectual context in which they find themselves and to which they must respond. He employs the same tactics that many effective teachers do: Socratic exchange in the classroom and office and innovative assignments that illustrate how reading and writing are living practices. His students perform a marathon public reading of “Ulysses,” write reviews of recently published collections of poems and attend performances of plays read in class. McNaughton has a BBA from University of Georgia; and a Master of Arts and a doctorate in English language and literature from the University of Michigan.
Joanne Terrell, instructor, has been a faculty member of UA’s School of Social Work for 14 years. She teaches in the MSW and BSW programs. Before serving as a full-time faculty member, Terrell worked as a therapist in UA’s Student Counseling Center for five years. She has been a practicing social worker for more than 25 years.
Terrell was instrumental in developing a Skills Laboratory Course to assist graduate social work students in developing clinical practice skills. This Skills Lab curriculum was presented by Terrell and several other faculty members at the Council On Social Work Education’s annual program meeting. It is regarded as an innovative and valuable learning tool for students as a way to integrate theory with practice in the classroom. Terrell has also been on numerous committees whose focus has been to redefine and enhance curriculum in a way to better engage students in the learning process. Terrell believes that it is essential for social work students to develop a deep understanding and appreciation for the role of social workers in their clients’ lives. Terrell has been a leader in developing classroom methods and practices that inform and inspire students in their pursuit of a career in social work.
In addition to preparing students for a career in social work, Terrell has served as a mentor, adviser and role model to both undergraduate and graduate students. She has served on numerous dissertation committees for doctoral students as well. She tries to encourage students to advocate and show up for underprivileged and underserved populations. Her philosophy of social work is that it is a profession in which we must be a voice for disenfranchised and vulnerable groups of people. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from The State University of New York and Master of Social Work from The University of Alabama.
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.