UNCW Psychology Professor Carrie Clements Wins UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching

Monday, March 20, 2017

UNCW psychology professor Caroline (Carrie) Clements has won the 2017 UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award is presented yearly to an outstanding faculty member at each of the 17 campuses of the University of North Carolina system.

“Carrie exemplifies the qualities of teaching, scholarship, community engagement and global focus that are emphasized in UNCW’s Strategic Plan,” said Provost Marilyn Sheerer. “In my interactions with our students, I have frequently heard that Dr. Clements is the best professor they've had during their college experience. She is extremely deserving of this honor, and I am happy that the UNC board has recognized her many contributions.”

Recognized as a gifted teacher, scholar and mentor, Clements has received the UNCW Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award, the Distinguished Teaching Professorship Award, the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award, a Board of Trustees Teaching Excellence Award and the J. Marshall Crews Distinguished Faculty Award.

She says her philosophy is that teaching relies on building relationships and communities. “The extent to which I connect with students and the manner in which I convey my care for their learning and the subject matter sets the stage for the unique community that each of my classes becomes,” she said. “My job is to set the stage for what will be a caring and connected learning community the first day of class, and to nurture it as it evolves.”

Colleagues praised Clements as a skilled mentor whose students have produced peer-reviewed articles and gone on to top doctoral programs. Her research on interpersonal violence has garnered substantial external grant funding and has resulted in invitations to speak in the community.

Currently, she is principal investigator on a three-year collaboration with the International Islamic University, Islamabad, funded by a $1 million grant from the State Department. The grant program is intended to encourage academic collaboration and help facilitate mutual understanding. At the time it was awarded, the grant was the largest ever given to a UNC system school.

Clements earned her B.A., M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology at Northwestern University.

Recipients of the Award for Excellence in Teaching are selected based on nominations from their home campuses. Each winner receives a commemorative bronze medallion and a $12,500 cash prize. A member of the UNC Board of Governors will present Clements with her award during the May graduation ceremonies.

“Everything I learned about teaching came from my interactions with faculty and staff across the university,” she said. “To me, this award reflects their tremendous talent and experience. This award is a once-in-a-lifetime honor. Having such wonderful colleagues is a daily privilege.”

-- Tricia Vance