Faculty Recognition

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Regions TEACH Prize

Teachlogo.jpgInitiated in 2013, the Regions TEACH (Toward Educational Advancement in Care and Health) Prize celebrates the highest qualities of our teaching faculty. The winner receives a cash award of $10,000, recognition at the luncheon honoring Nelson Order inductees, and public recognition at the UMMC commencement ceremonies.

The 2023 Regions TEACH Prize award recipient is Dr. Barbara Alexander, professor of physiology and biophysics in the UMMC School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences.

Past Regions TEACH Prize winners include:

  • 2022 - David Brown, PhD, professor in the department of cell and molecular biology, School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences

  • 2021 - Stephen Stray, PhD, associate professor in the department of microbiology and immunology, School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences

  • 2020 - Jason Griggs, PhD, FADM, professor of biomedical materials science and associate dean for research, School of Dentistry

  • 2019 - Michael Ryan, PhD, professor of physiology and biophysics, School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences

  • 2018 - Amol V. Janorkar, PhD, associate professor of biomedical materials science, School of Dentistry

  • 2017 - William P. Daley, MD, professor of pathology, School of Medicine

  • 2016 - Jennifer Bain, DDSassistant professor and interim department chair of periodontics and preventive sciences, School of Dentistry

  • 2015 - Mary Stewart, PhD, RN, professor and director of both the PhD program and accreditation, School of Nursing

  • 2014 - Ian Paul, PhD, professor of psychiatry and human behavior, director of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience and director of the Animal Behavioral Core, School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences

  • 2013 - Kimberly Simpson, PhD, associate professor of neurobiology and anatomical sciences, School of Medicine

To nominate a faculty member

Contact Dr. Rob Rockhold, professor emeritus, by email at rrockhold@umc.edu. All nominations will be shared with the dean of the school from which the faculty member is being nominated. The email subject line should contain “Nelson Order Nomination”.

How is the TEACH Prize awarded?

Faculty recipients of the Nelson Order are eligible for the Regions TEACH Prize.

Both share the same criteria. An outstanding educator should demonstrate excellence in:

  • Delivering innovative teaching methods
  • Engaging and inspiring students
  • Conveying accurate, contemporary knowledge
  • Setting clear, appropriate expectations for professional behaviors
  • Guiding and mentoring students

Each school has an existing process for nomination that begins with student selection of the Nelson Order awardees for that year. Twenty-one new members of the Nelson Order are selected each year. Students should contact their academic or student affairs offices with any additional nominations they wish to be considered.

The dean of each school selects, with the input of the faculty, one nominee from the school's Nelson Order whom they feel best exemplifies the Regions TEACH Prize criteria, for a total of seven finalists for the Regions TEACH Prize.

Beginning in 2023, select members of The Academy for Excellence in Education, with input from the President of the Associated Student Body, review a portfolio that includes a statement of teaching philosophy from the finalists, elements of their academic record, and their curriculum vitae. A vote of this group determines the winner of the Regions TEACH Prize.

The Nelson Order recipients and the TEACH Prize winner are announced at a luncheon in May. All recipients are honored publicly at commencement ceremonies and with a plaque on the Nelson Honor Wall in the second-floor atrium of the Verner S. Holmes Learning Resources Center.