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UNCW’S Kelley Recognized With the Nation's Highest Undergraduate Teaching Honor

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Patricia Kelley, professor of geology, has been selected to receive one of four U.S. Professors of the Year awards, the University announced today. Sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and administered by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the awards recognize professors for their excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring. 

“It is a great honor to be selected for this award,” said Kelley. “The world of higher education has changed since I began teaching, but since my first day in the classroom, I’ve always worked to inspire my students to think critically and encourage their personal and professional growth.”

During a luncheon today in Washington, D.C., at the National Press Club, Kelley and professors from Stanford University, Pennsylvania State University Berks, and Monroe Community College were announced as the Professors of the Year for the following categories: master’s universities; doctoral and research universities; baccalaureate colleges; and community colleges. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and CASE also named 31 state-level winners.

Once nominations are submitted, CASE assembles a panel of judges comprised of deans, professors, education reporters, and government and foundation representatives who select 100 preliminary winners. A second panel then narrows these finalists to 24. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching then appoints members of a third panel that selects the professors for the national categories and state winners.

Earlier this year, Kelley received the 2014 Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest honor given to faculty in the UNC System for teaching excellence. 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.