College of Liberal Arts

World-Class Faculty

A university is only as good as its faculty members. UT Austin English professor and folklorist J. Frank Dobie once said, “I have come to value liberated minds as the supreme good of life on earth.” Such a superlative is not achieved without the hard work of great teachers.

Each year, the university recognizes eight of Texas’ best with the President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Awards. Of the 2018-19 recipients, four are faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts. Read more about these outstanding faculty members below, featuring their own words about the art of teaching.

Story and interviews by Avrel Seale, originally published by UT News.


Shannon Cavanagh
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology

Courses: Population and Society; Marriage, Family and Kinship

“The people, resources and ideas that flow through this university are unmatched. This kind of energy makes teaching here a delight. I’ve been doing this for a while and am still invigorated at the start of each semester.”


Gloria González-López
Professor, Department of Sociology

Courses: Sociology of Sexual Violence; Feminist Theories; Sexual Violence Across Mexican Cultures

“I consider the classroom to be a revolutionary space where learning for social justice and change can take place in creative and inspirational ways. For me, teaching and learning are the two wings of the same colorful immigrant monarch butterfly: It is a nonstop journey for me as an educator and a human being. … I learn a lot from all my students each semester. I always tell my students that I am the oldest student in the classroom.”


Bethany Albertson
Professor, Department of Government

Courses: American Government; Political Psychology

“In my American Government class, I like to learn about what issues matter to them and help them think through how they can advocate for change. … I don’t want students to simply memorize information. I want them to engage in research and in their communities.”


Daina Ramey Berry
Oliver H. Radkey Regents Professor in History; Fellow of Walter Prescott Webb Chair in History; Fellow of George W. Littlefield Professorship in American History

Courses: Gender and Slavery in the United States; The Domestic Slave Trade; Antebellum Slavery

“A successful teacher is one who cares about students and is open to being flexible in the classroom. Successful teachers engage students in their current research projects, and most of all, a successful teacher is one who is always learning.”


Header photo (left to right): Shannon Cavanagh, Gloria González-López, Bethany Albertson, Daina Ramey Berry

Photographer: Marsha Miller

The College of Liberal Arts has more than 500 faculty members who are rigorous teachers and creative researchers who advance knowledge in the humanities and social sciences while preparing the next generation of thoughtful citizens and leaders. To learn more about our faculty, please visit the departmental directories listed below:

African & African Diaspora Studies and English professor Lisa B. Thompson discusses her research funded by the Humanities Research Award.
Material World illustration
Living in a Material World: Philosophy professor Galen Strawson discusses his latest book in this Life & Letters Q&A.

Christine Williams

Sociology's Christine Williams was elected president of the American Sociological Association.

Faculty Op-eds