Department of English

Associate Professor Mia Carter and Assistant Professor Coleman Hutchison win Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards

Wed, September 1, 2010
Associate Professor Mia Carter and Assistant Professor Coleman Hutchison win Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards
Professor Mia Carter (left) and Assistant Professor Coleman Hutchison.

The Department of English congratulates Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor Mia Carter and Assistant Professor Coleman Hutchison, recipients of the 2010 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards.

The Regents’ Teaching Awards, now in their second year, recognize faculty members who demonstrate extraordinary classroom performance and innovation at the undergraduate level. In order to receive an award, nominees must demonstrate a clear commitment to teaching and a sustained ability to deliver excellence to the undergraduate learning experience.

Indeed, both Carter and Hutchison have consistently proven their excellence and commitment in the classroom. Throughout her career, Carter has been honored with numerous teaching awards, including the Texas Excellence Teaching Award, the Chancellor’s Teaching Award, the Chad Oliver Plan II Teaching Award, and the Jean Holloway Award for Excellence in teaching.

Carter’s oft-recognized dedication to her students shines through in her statement of teaching philosophy. “My teaching philosophy is that everyone is a teacher, every individual has unique gifts and talents, experiences and perceptions from which others can benefit and learn,” Carter wrote. “I want my students to believe they have much to offer; I hope that they grow more skilled and confident as writers. I also want them to believe that in literature and in life, every word counts. There are practical and philosophical benefits in figuring out the hows and whys of the meaning-making and interpreting processes. I hope that my students will be life-long passionate readers, rigorous thinkers, and deeply reflective citizens. I am very grateful to my students for their openness and scholarly commitment.”

Hutchison, meanwhile, earned honors for his teaching at Northwestern University, where he won the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award. Additionally, Hutchison has received many research grants and fellowships, including his current Visiting Scholar Fellowship at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Unsurprisingly, given his abundant research accolades, Hutchison emphasized the reciprocal nature of teaching and research in his statement of philosophy. “I reject the dichotomy between teaching and research,” Hutchison wrote. “My teaching incorporates aspects of my research and my research benefits in innumerable ways from what I learn in the classroom. Such an interpenetration of research and teaching is, to my mind, the great promise of a premier research institution: a communal space in which students and faculty work collaboratively on intellectual and social problems.”

Carter, Hutchison, and 70 other faculty members within the UT System (34 of whom teach at UT Austin) will share $2 million from the Regents’ Teaching Awards. The awards, which range individually from $15,000 to $30,000, are believed to be the highest in the country for rewarding outstanding undergraduate faculty performance and innovation.

The rigorous selection process subjects candidates to a three-year teaching performance assessment by campus and external examiners, as well as evaluations by students, peer faculty, and external reviewers. Candidates must also provide a teaching portfolio detailing pedagogical innovation, continuous improvement of course materials, overall teacher training experience, and a statement of teaching philosophy and objectives.

Mia Carter is an Associate Professor and University Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor in the English Department. Her research interests include British and global modernism, imperial studies, and cinema studies. Her recent publications include “Critical and Polemical Writing,” chapter five in The Edinburgh Companion to James Kelman, edited by Scott Hames; “History’s Child: Virginia Woolf, Heritage, and Historical Consciousness” in ALIF: Journal of Comparative Poetics, volume 27; and “Acknowledged Absences: Claire Denis’ Cinema of Longing” in Studies in European Cinema, volume 3, issue no. 1. Currently, Carter is working on two books: Virginia Woolf, History’s Child: Heritage and Imagination, and Modernism and Literature: An Introduction and Reader, the latter co-edited with Professor Alan Friedman.

Coleman Hutchison (Ph.D., Northwestern, 2006) teaches and writes about U.S. literature and culture to 1900. He has abiding interests in poetry, print culture, regional and national literatures, popular and folk music, and histories of sexuality. His essays have appeared in American Literary History, Comparative American Studies, The Emily Dickinson Journal, and PMLA, and he is currently completing a book about Confederate literary culture. Hutchison will spend the 2010-11 academic year as a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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