College of Liberal Arts

Black Studies Professor Inducted into Academy of Distinguished Teachers

Thu, Mar 16, 2017
Photo by Christina S. Murrey
Photo by Christina S. Murrey

Director of the Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis Kevin O. Cokley has been selected as a Fellow in The University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers. 

Only four faculty members from the UT System were chosen to join the Academy of Distinguished Teachers this year. To be eligible, faculty members must first have received the Regent’s Outstanding Teaching award, which Cokley was awarded in 2013. His induction into the Academy distinguishes him as a top educator in the UT System, and recognizes his leadership and commitment to improving teaching and fostering instructional innovation. 

In nominating Cokley, who is also a professor of educational psychology, for the award, Dean of the College of Education Manuel Justiz said, “The University of Texas at Austin and the College of Education are extremely fortunate to have such a gifted teacher, scholar and mentor. Assessing Dr. Cokley’s accomplishments so far, I can only begin to speculate as to the excellent quality and quantity of contributions we may expect from him in the future. He’s an outstanding member of our faculty and has distinguished himself as an exceptional teacher among his peers here in our college, in the university-wide arena, and beyond.”

UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves described the award as a “fitting tribute to [Cokley’s] exceptional teaching and important contributions to our understanding of factors affecting African American student achievement and the well-being of minority students.”

Cokley’s teaching has received impressive validation through past honors such as the Charles and Shirley Thomas Award for mentoring, education and training of ethnic minority students, a national award presented by the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues in the American Psychological Association. Cokley has also received UT’s John Warfield Center for African and African American Studies Faculty Teaching Award in recognition of excellence in teaching and been recognized twice as the Outstanding Faculty of the Year by UT’s Black Faculty and Staff Association.

Last year, he was an instrumental leader in the African and African Diaspora Studies’ first Black Matters Conference, which brought international scholars and attention to the university.

In addition, Cokley maintains a high national profile and has been honored for his contributions to counseling psychology, as well as ethnic minority psychology. He is editor-in-chief of the international Journal of Black Psychology and in 2011 was inducted as a Fellow in the American Psychological Association. He has actively sought to share his knowledge and insights through public writing of Op-Eds and research-based commentaries. This public writing has transformed and expanded his vision of teaching, as he teaches people through his writing. 

To see Dr. Cokley discuss his research about imposter phenomenon in relation to underrepresented students in STEM education, view his One Big Question video


A version of this story first appeared on the UT Austin College of Education website, written by Yvonne Taylor. 

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