Faculty Awards & Endowments

The members of the UNC Asheville faculty value teaching over all other activities, but are also accomplished scholars and significant contributors to the local and regional community.  All teaching award activity (i.e. calls for nominations, review of applications) is conducted by a Teaching Awards Committee, composed of previous teaching award winners. The Teaching Awards Committee solicits nominations from students, faculty, staff and alumni each fall and spring. Applications are reviewed and awards are bestowed each spring.  


Faculty Awards and Endowments since 1982

Endowed Professorships

Carol C. Belk Distinguished Professor in the Humanities 

  • Mark Gibney, Political Science

Phillip G. Carson Distinguished Professor of Natural Sciences 

  • Bert Holmes, Chemistry

GlaxoSmithKline Distinguished Professor in Molecular & Cellular Biology      

  • Thomas “Ted” Meigs, Biology

Glaxo Wellcome Distinguished Professor in Natural Science Undergraduate Research     

  • Mahmut Reyhanoglu, Engineering

Roy Carroll Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences Honors 

  • Richard Chess, English

NEH Distinguished Professor in the Humanities  

  • Katherine Zubko, Religious Studies

Thomas H. Howerton Distinguished Professor in Humanities 

  • Keya Maitra, Philosophy

Interdisciplinary Professor of the Mountain South  

  • Leah Mathews, Economics

Sara and Joseph Breman Distinguished Professor of Social Relations

  • Lyndi Hewitt, Sociology & Anthropology

Ruth Paddison Distinguished Professor in Music

  • Wayne Kirby, Music

Cary Caperton Owen Distinguished Professor in Economics 

  • (currently vacant)

Ruth and Leon Feldman Professor

2018 Recipients

  • Leah Mathews
  • Ellen Pearson

Each year the full-time, ranked faculty of UNC Asheville shall select two of its members for receipt of the Ruth and Leon Feldman Professorship Fund prize. This award will honor those faculty who have excelled in one or both of the following fields:

  1. Service to the community and to UNC Asheville; and,
  2. Demonstrated competence in the areas of teaching, research and published writings.

The selection of these two individuals is the responsibility of the Ruth and Leon Feldman Professorship Review Committee whose composition and procedures are described in Section 10.3.4 of the Faculty Handbook. The awards are bestowed at the final spring faculty meeting. Recipients of the award will be listed in the UNC Asheville catalog in a section describing the Ruth & Leon Feldman Professorship Fund.


UNC Asheville Teaching Awards

Board of Governors' Award for Excellence in Teaching

2018 Recipient

Bert Holmes (Chemistry)

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors instituted an award system to underscore the importance of teaching and to encourage, identify, recognize, reward, and support good teaching within the University. The Board directed that each of the sixteen campuses establish awards for teaching excellence and to identify one faculty member per year that clearly exhibits those characteristics that sets them apart from the institution's faculty as a distinguished teacher.

The Board of Governors' Distinguished Teacher award is presented each spring in a ceremony at the Board of Governors office. Eligibility is restricted to tenured faculty who have taught at their constituent institutions for at least seven years.

Distinguished Teacher of the Year

2018 Recipient

Nancy Ruppert (Education)

This is UNC Asheville's original teaching award, presented during Spring Commencement to a membero fthe Faculty who is judged a "Distinguished Teacher." A monetary award accompanies this recognition and all Distinguished Teacher are listed in the UNC Asheville catalog. This award reflects the high priority and importance placed on teaching at UNC Asheville. Any full-time faculty member (Lecturer, Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor) shall be eligible, except for those faculty who have previously won the award.

Teaching Excellence in the Natural Sciences

2018 Recipient

James Perkins (Physics)

All full-time faculty who teach courses within a Natural Sciences division department with a rank of lecturer or higher, regardless of tenure status, are eligible for this award. The Natural Sciences Division includes the following departments: Atmospheric Sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Studies, Mathematics, New Media, and Physics.

Teaching Excellence in the Social Sciences

2018 Recipient

Jason Wingert (Health and Wellness)

All full-time faculty who teach courses within a Social Sciences division department with a rank of lecturer or higher, regardless of tenure status, are eligible for this award. The Social Sciences Division includes the following departments: Economics, Education, Health and Wellness, Management, Accountancy, Mass Communications, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology.

Teaching Excellence in the Humanities

2018 Recipient

Marcus Harvey (Religious Studies)

All full-time faculty who teach courses within a Humanities division department with a rank of lecturer or higher, regardless of tenure status, are eligible for this award. The Humanities Division includes the following departments: Art, Classics, Drama, Foreign Languages, History, Literature and Language, Mass Communication, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies.

Teaching Excellence in University Programs (Final year for this category)

2018 Recipient

Renuka Gusain (Humanities Program)

All full-time faculty who teach courses within a university program with a rank of lecturer or higher, regardless of tenure status, are eligible for this award. University programs includes the following departments: Africana Studies, Arts and Ideas, Honors Program, Humanities Program, Interdisciplinary and International Studies, MLA Program, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Teaching Excellence - Untenured Faculty Member

2018 Recipient

Regine Criser (Modern Languages and Literatures)

All full-time untenured faculty, regardless of appointment status, with a rank of lecturer or higher are eligible for this award.

Teaching Excellence - Part-Time or Adjunct Faculty

2018 Recipient

Barbara Duncan (Modern Languages and Literatures)

All non-full-time faculty, regardless of appointment status, are eligible for this award.

Scholarship and Creative Achievement Award

2018 Recipients

  • Evan Gurney
  • Susan Clark Muntean

University Service Award

2018 Recipients

  • Marietta Cameron
  • Amy Lanou

When the University Service Council was established, its first order of business was to establish an award that would recognize one of their peers for outstanding service. The award's purpose was to foster and encourage service to the community, UNC Asheville, and to our professions at large.

From the USC charge:

  • Service to the UNC Asheville community contributes directly to the welfare and development of students, faculty, and staff at UNC Asheville by enhancing learning for UNC Asheville students, promoting professional development opportunities for faculty and staff, or otherwise working for the betterment of the UNC Asheville community.
  • Service to the profession or academic discipline contributes directly to the advancement of learning, teaching, scholarship, or practice in that faculty member's profession or discipline.
  • Service to the wider community contributes directly to serving people in need or serving the natural environment in the wider world beyond the UNC Asheville campus: Asheville, Buncombe County, the state, the nation, and the world.

In May 2002, the First Annual University Service Council Award was presented during the last faculty meeting of the 2001-2002 academic year.