Friday, April 23, 2004

Rob Kelly receives 2004 All-University Teaching Award

April 2004 - Inside UVA by Robert Brickhouse

Demonstrating the University’s commitment to teaching excellence, the exemplary work of classroom teachers will be highlighted April 28 with the presentation of various awards at the University’s annual “In Celebration of Teaching” banquet.

Chosen from numerous nominations, each backed by heart-felt testimonials from students and colleagues, the honorees and their wide-ranging work inspire the whole University, said Marva Barnett, chairwoman of the faculty teaching awards committee and director of the Teaching Resource Center.

“Many of the winners this year make teaching contributions that extend beyond the classroom: by helping students feel comfortable in their courses, they make them more able to learn; by mentoring colleagues as well as students, they inspire learning at all levels,” she said.

Invariably described as demanding, caring and committed to students’ learning, the award-winners include junior and senior professors and graduate teaching assistants from throughout the University.

Several faculty members who have won other major teaching awards in the past few months also will be recognized. These include associate psychology professor Jonathan Haidt, who won the SCHEV/TIAA-CREF Outstanding Faculty Award — the annual statewide award for excellent teaching from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia — and two others who will hold distinguished teaching professorships supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Brian Balogh, Mayo Distinguished Teaching Professor of History, and Mark Edmundson, Daniels Family Distinguished Teaching Professor of English.

Robert G. Kelly
Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

“Analogies are powerful tools. It has been said that learning is simply remembering what we already know...Students learn best by doing. Outside the class the most powerful learning experience a student can have is his own research project. ... Learning is a two-way street. Students can sometimes see an aspect of the subject at hand that has eluded the teacher. ... Good preparation gives me freedom during class. ... Teachers can rely on each other for guidance. My colleagues serve as sounding boards for ideas and provide critical moral support."