Teaching Academy Inducts New Fellows and Presents Imhoff Awards

Janine Parry
Photo by University Relations

Janine Parry

The University of Arkansas Teaching Academy recently inducted eight new Fellows and named the finalists and the recipient of the 2015 Dr. John and Mrs. Lois Imhoff Award for Outstanding Teaching and Student Mentorship. 

The Imhoff Award winner was Janine Parry, professor of political science and director of the Arkansas Poll. Parry came to the U of A in 1998 and regularly teaches large sections of PLSC 2003, American National Government. Parry has been recognized as an outstanding teacher in a variety of courses. In addition to teaching, Parry has mentored students for SURF/SILO grants and Truman scholarships, and has a number of publications with students as co-authors. Parry is a former co-director of the Wally Cordes Teaching and Faculty Development Center and a former chair of the faculty senate. Parry received the Fulbright Master Teacher Award in 2002 and the Arkansas Alumni Association Faculty Distinguished Achievement Awards for Teaching and for Service in 2005. 

Sidney Burris and Susan Mayes

The Teaching Academy also recognized two Imhoff Award finalists, Sidney Burris, professor of English and director of the Fulbright Honors Program; and Susan Mayes, instructor and coordinator of undergraduate studies in health, human performance and recreation.  The Imhoff Award, presented annually by the Teaching Academy, recognizes faculty that excel in teaching introductory courses and in mentoring students.     

The Teaching Academy Fellows inducted for 2015 were: Mindy Bradley, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice; Kathleen Condray, associate professor of world languages, literatures and cultures; Don Edgar, associate professor of agricultural education, communication and technology; Suresh Thallapuranam, professor of chemistry and biochemistry; Lynn Jacobs, professor of art; Lanier Nalley, associate professor of agricultural economics and agribusiness; William Schreckhise, associate professor of political science; and Calvin White, Jr., associate professor and chair of history.

Mindy Bradley completed her Ph.D. from Penn State in 2004 and joined the UA faculty in 2005.  She teaches one of the largest-enrollment courses in Criminal Justice and is described by her department chair as an "exciting, demanding, and compassionate" teacher.  Students describe her as "inspiring, demanding, and supportive." She is a frequent presenter at teaching improvement workshops and received the 2008 Fulbright Master Teacher Award.

Kathleen Condray holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas and is a former Sturgis Fellow. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois and has been back at the U of A since 1999. Students praise Condray for her "animated, personable teaching style" and her high level of helpfulness. Condray was named by Oxford American as one of the South's most creative educators; she received the Fulbright Master Teacher Award in 2007.

Don Edgar received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 2007 and joined the University of Arkansas in 2008. He teaches 11 different courses, earning consistently high student evaluations, and is praised by students for his ability to make material interesting and meaningful. Edgar was named a Teacher Fellow by the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, received the Gamma Sigma Delta Outstanding Teaching Award in the Bumpers College, and was recognized as the Outstanding Early Career Award winner by the American Association for Agricultural Education. 

Lynn Jacobs received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and joined the UA faculty in 1989. She teaches courses in Medieval, Italian Renaissance, Northern Renaissance and Baroque Art. According to her Department chair, "Lynn has an extremely strong record of sustained superior teaching." She is known as an excellent advisor and has extended her expertise beyond our own campus as co-author of the Professors' Guide to Getting Good Grades in College and The Secrets of College Success. In 2015, Lynn received the Charles and Nadine Baum Faculty Teaching Award, the UA's highest award for teaching excellence. 

Lanier Nalley received his Ph.D. from Kansas State University in 2007 and joined the UA faculty in 2008. He teaches both introductory and graduate courses in agricultural economics, with an emphasis on rural development and quantitative analysis.  Nalley is heavily involved with international development efforts and has received the Bumpers College Outstanding International Education Award. He has twice received the Faculty Gold Medal Award from the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, and has mentored Truman, Marshall, and NSF Fellowship Award winners. 

William Schreckhise received his Ph.D. from Washington State University and joined the UA faculty in 1999. Schreckhise teaches courses in public policy and administration, constitutional law, and administrative law, and serves as Director of the Legal Studies Program. He was described by one student as a "walking, talking, political science Google." Schreckhise received the Fulbright Master Teacher Award in 2014. 

Suresh Thallapuranam received his Ph.D. from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India and joined the UA faculty in 2009. He teaches some of the most difficult courses in his department while receiving excellent student evaluations. Students praise Thallapuranum for his clear explanations and for his availability and willingness to take the time to help students as they master difficult material. Over the past six years, Thallapuranum has mentored 35 undergraduate Honors students. He received the Fulbright College Master Teacher Award in 2014. 

Calvin White Jr. received his Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi in 2007 and joined the UA faculty that same year. He teaches a variety of courses in American and African-American History.  Students report Calvin is "hard, but fair and is a very interesting lecturer" and rate him as one of their most favorite professors. White has received numerous teaching and advising awards including, in 2014, the Dr. John and Mrs. Lois Imhoff Award for Outstanding Teaching and Student Mentorship. 

The Imhoff Award recipient and finalists were recognized and the eight new Fellows were inducted during the annual Teaching Academy Banquet on Monday night, Dec. 7.

The Teaching Academy consists of faculty members who have been recognized by their peers, colleges, and the university for excellence in teaching. Other criteria include a professor's ability to establish a special rapport with students, to instill a love for learning, and to encourage students to go beyond the expectations of the classroom and to explore their disciplines for themselves.

The Teaching Academy logo represents a drop of water falling into a pond creating ripples spreading out in all directions, having an effect which can neither be controlled nor predicted. So it is with the effect of outstanding teaching on students. For more information on the Teaching Academy, see uateach.uark.edu.


Donald M. Johnson, president, Teaching Academy
Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology
479-575-2039, dmjohnso@uark.edu


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