College of Liberal Arts

World-Class Faculty

John Kappelman

Since 2011, the Alcalde has honored UT professors with the Texas 10 awards.

Every year, alumni nominate their favorite professor from their time on the Forty Acres. This year, nearly 300 alumni and students nominated more than 100 UT educators, past and present, who inspired them. Among the finalists, faculty from the College of Liberal Arts landed three of the top ten spots.

Below are their stories, originally published by The Alcalde.

Thomas Garza

University Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor, Slavic and Eurasian Studies; Director, Texas Language Center and Arabic Flagship Program

Since starting at UT, Garza has been awarded over a dozen administrative and leadership roles, but teaching is what he lives for. Each year, he says, his students are more diverse and open-minded, and continue to inspire him.

“I feel so lucky to see firsthand what people thought was going to be a disastrously apathetic generation prove us wrong,” he says. “The millennials have turned out to be [one of the most] incredibly politically aware, socially-conscious, caring population I’ve ever seen at my time here at UT.” -- Written by Elizabeth Hlavinka.

Lisa B. Thompson

Associate Professor, African and African Diaspora Studies

In Thompson's class titled “Revolution Will Be Dramatized,” her students studied plays and films that pushed for black rights during civil rights and the Black Power movement. Students created documentaries, graphic novels, paintings, and performances around Black Lives Matter, or any social movement important to them. “It was amazing to see what they came up with,” she says.

Her writing and teaching keep her busy, but Thompson is naturally energetic, especially when she’s doing what she loves. “I get paid to do this: talk about books and films and plays and poetry with people who are smart and excited,” she says. “I just have a lot of fun teaching.” --Written by Marisa Charpentier

Bartholomew Sparrow

Professor, Government 

“What I love about political science is it’s such a large field,” says Sparrow. “‘We’re political animals,’ as Aristotle says. We’re in society and there has to be a settling on how people are going to engage — the complexity is wonderful.

“I’m just happy reading and writing — if I’m on vacation for a week, I find myself wanting to go back to political science and studying,” he says. “That’s terrific. That’s what you really want: to enjoy your work.” -- Written by Danielle Lopez

Header photo (left to right): Thomas Garza, Lisa B. Thompson, Bartholomew Sparrow. Photo credit: Matt Wright-Steel

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.
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