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USG recognizes faculty with awards and fellowship

2021-01-15-Hill and Munoz
Dr. Michele Hill received the Felton Jenkins Jr. Hall of Fame Faculty Award. Dr. Caroline Muñoz was given the Regents' Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Award. Both are highly prestigious honors from the University System of Georgia.

Humbled, appreciative and grateful were how Dr. Michele Hill and Dr. Caroline Muñoz felt when the University System of Georgia (USG) awarded them with two separate and highly prestigious honors.

Hill received the Felton Jenkins Jr. Hall of Fame Faculty Award, which recognizes individual faculty and staff for a strong commitment to teaching and student success. Muñoz was given the Regents' Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Award, which is intended to encourage and support the work of faculty members whose scholarship focuses on the instructional mission of the institution.

"Each year, the Board of Regents awards the Regents' Teaching Excellence awards and the Felton Jenkins Jr. Hall of Fame Faculty awards. It is an honor for a faculty member to be selected as an institution's nominee," said Dr. Chaudron Gille, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. "To have two of UNG's nominees selected as winners this year is a tribute to the caliber of our faculty. Huge congratulations to both Dr. Hill and Dr. Munoz."

Hill and Muñoz experienced different emotions after learning of the news.

"Tears welled up in my eyes when I read the email," said Hill, associate professor and associate head of the Department of Psychological Science.

Hill was UNG's nominee for the award after earning the school's Distinguished Teaching Award in fall 2020. She pointed out her colleagues were critical to her success.

Muñoz, who won the Distinguished Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Award at UNG, wasn't expecting to win the USG accolade of the same name.

"It's exciting to be recognized. It validates my work," said the associate professor of marketing in the Mike Cottrell College of Business.

Both have proven their worth, which is spelled out in their nomination portfolios. The portfolio includes a nomination letter, recommendation letters from colleagues or students, a condensed resume, a statement of their teaching and learning philosophy, and data and evidence related to their teaching and scholarly activities.

"It is a body of your work in higher education," Muñoz said, noting some of her examples were peer-reviewed articles and a book she co-authored.

She and Hill pointed to their student interaction in the nomination process. Muñoz said her teaching philosophy is to give students hands-on and real-life, practical experiences of digital and social media marketing. Hill, who has a similar teaching philosophy, said she is driven by getting students involved in undergraduate research to help them achieve their goals.

"I've worked to ensure my students are engaged in internships and research and community-based learning so they can have successful applications for graduate school," Hill said. "It’s key that they recognize their strengths and accomplishments."

Muñoz agreed with that sentiment.

"I do anything I can to assist them in getting a job," she said. "And helping them become gainfully employed is what excites me the most."

USG also named Dr. Carl Ohrenberg, associate professor of chemistry at UNG, as a 2020-2021 USG Leadership Fellow. As a subject matter expert, the assistant director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Leadership will provide meaningful support to colleagues systemwide.

For a one-year term, Fellows will share their expertise through workshops for USG groups outside their home institutions. Workshops may be delivered virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The wide-ranging topics may vary from coaching skills for academic leaders and leadership ethics to constructive conflict engagement and change management.


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