College of Liberal Arts

Historian Named Regents' Outstanding Teacher

Fri, Jul 6, 2018
Erika Bsumek
Erika Bsumek

Erika Bsumek, associate professor of history, has been named a recipient of the 2018 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, a system-wide award that recognizes innovative teaching and commitment to student success.

Through classes such as Building America: Engineering Society and Culture, 1868-1980, Bsumek teaches both humanities and STEM majors how their disciplines are intertwined and interdependent, demonstrating through innovative projects how history, politics and socio-cultural forces shape and drive technological advances.

“We have a tendency to artificially compartmentalize the world into discrete disciplines. Our classroom serves as a place to connect, rather than divide,” says Bsumek. “What happens if you put engineers and historians or natural scientists and artists in a room together? They actually have a lot to say to each other.”

Bsumek was honored along with Mark Daniels, professor of mathematics, who helps students become independent thinkers and life-long learners by changing how STEM is taught. Like Bsumek, Daniels creates more opportunities for students to question and discover rather than just consume information.

They are among 27 faculty members from the 14 academic and health institutions that comprise The University of Texas System. They will each receive $25,000 in recognition of their commitment to student success.

“We are indebted to these educators who exemplify great teaching on every level,” Board of Regents Chairman Sara Martinez Tucker said. “These are educators, researchers and health care professionals who – no matter how long they’ve been teaching – never stop thinking about new and innovative ways to enhance the learning experience.”  

Nominees undergo a series of rigorous evaluations by students, peer faculty and external reviewers. The review panels consider a range of activities and criteria in their evaluations of a candidate's teaching performance, including classroom expertise, curricula quality, innovative course development and student learning outcomes.

Recipients of the 2018 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards will be recognized Aug. 9 at a reception held in conjunction with the Board of Regents meeting in Austin.

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