Professor Patricia Kelley to Receive Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching

The University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Patricia Kelley, professor of geology, has been selected to receive a 2014 Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching. Created in 1994, the award is the highest honor given to faculty for teaching excellence. It encourages, identifies, recognizes, rewards, and supports excellence in teaching within a university and Kelley will be honored during UNCW’s Spring commencement ceremony.

“It is an honor to be the one selected for this award among my many talented peers at UNCW,” said Kelley. “This university is known for its dedication to teaching excellence and it is a true gift to be part of an institution that is so widely recognized for its achievements in higher education.”

The Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina unanimously approves recommendations of its Committee on Personnel and Tenure for the twentieth annual system-wide awards and bestows this award to sixteen recipients, one from each institution, at an annual recognition luncheon hosted by the North Carolina Board of Governors in the spring.

“Kelley’s philosophy demonstrates her willingness and ability to evolve her teaching styles and methods,” said Chancellor Gary L. Miller. “She is an expert not only in her field of research, but at facilitating thought and understanding in an energetic and enthusiastic classroom environment.”

Kelley joined UNCW in 1997, serving as the chair for the Department of Earth Sciences from 1997-2003. Kelley aims to engage all of her undergraduate and graduate students by creating a student-centered classroom, using inquiry-based methods, and collaborative forms of applied learning.

Kelley’s extensive resume includes a multitude of career highlights. She has received National Science Foundation grants for more than 15 years, has directed three PhD dissertations to completion and 25 Master’s theses, plus four that are in progress. Kelley’s professional leadership includes serving as President of the Paleontological Society, President of the Board of Trustees for the Paleontological Research Institution, and as a current member of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center’s Advisory Board. She has edited five scholarly books and published two field trip guidebooks, 91 articles, and 200 abstracts. She has also served as a reviewer for 49 different journals, publishers, and granting agencies.

Kelley is also the recipient of the Association for Women Geoscientists Outstanding Educator Award, as well as UNCW’s Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award, Distinguished Teaching Professorship Award and Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award. She also was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2006.