Senior Lecturer Betsy Berry and Professors James Loehlin and Carol MacKay win Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards
Posted: August 31, 2011
Senior Lecturer Betsy Berry, Professor James Loehlin, Professor Carol MacKay
The Department of English congratulates Senior Lecturer Betsy Berry, Shakespeare at Winedale Regents Professor and Distinguished Teaching Professor James Loehlin, and Distinguished Teaching Professor Carol MacKay, recipients of the 2011 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award.
The Regents’ Teaching Awards, now in their third 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.
Berry, Loehlin, MacKay, and 69 other faculty members within the UT System (34 of whom teach at UT Austin) will share $1.8 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.
Berry, Loehlin, and MacKay have consistently exhibited commitment to excellence in the classroom and substantial dedication to their students, serving as academic mentors and vehicles of inspiration.
Betsy Berry is described by her students as “magnetic” and “dynamic.” She teaches a variety of subjects, including the required sophomore class E316K: Masterworks of American Literature, and even in a large lecture course, has the ability to provide individual attention. While interacting with mostly non-major students, her empathetic and engaging approach to teaching is transformative and propels a wide range of audiences into literary enthusiasts.
Betsy Berry’s chief research and writing interests are in Creative Writing, British Modernism, and American Literature. Her poems have appeared in U.S., Australian, and Canadian periodicals. Two of her short stories—“Family and Flood” and “Human Sexuality”––have appeared in major anthologies (Lone Star Literature and Literary Austin). She has also published critical essays on Jean Rhys (Studies in the Novel), Blue Velvet (Literature/Film Quarterly), and John Graves and Beverly Lowry (in John Graves, Writer). Her most recent publication is a short story set on the UT campus, "The Things She Carried," appearing in the Oxford American (September 2011). In 2008 she received two teaching awards: the W.O.S. Sutherland Award for Teaching Excellence in Sophomore Literature and a Texas Blazers Faculty Excellence Award.
James Loehlin teaches Shakespeare in Performance and Modern Drama, and is the director of Shakespeare at Winedale, one of the English Department’s most successful undergraduate signature programs. He teaches through performance and dedicates himself and his summers fully to the Windedale students, many of whom have no previous theater experience. He immerses the students in the language and stagecraft of the texts, and produces notable Shakespeareans.
James Loehlin's scholarship focuses on the history of plays in performance. He has written widely about Shakespeare on stage and film, especially the history plays (he has books on Henry IV and Henry V and articles on Henry VI and Richard III). He also works with modern drama, in particular the works of Anton Chekhov (he has a book on The Cherry Orchard and is the author of The Cambridge Introduction to Chekhov). As Director of the Shakespeare at Winedale program, he has an interest in performance as a teaching method, and has written essays on teaching Shakespeare through performance.
Carol MacKay teaches courses in nineteenth-century British fiction, autobiography, and women's writing. Her student evaluation record has been nearly flawless since she arrived at UT in 1979, and she is regarded as a brilliant leader of discussion who elicits maximum student participation and motivates student learning. Her teaching is supplemented with original research, as she moves students from the undergraduate skill of close reading to the graduate skill of archival research.
Specializing in the Victorian period, Carol MacKay conducts research that reflects her primary interests in narratology, autobiography as a genre, and women's and gender studies. Besides articles featuring the work of novelist Charlotte Brontë, photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, and actress-novelist-playwright Elizabeth Robins, her book publications include Soliloquy in Nineteenth-Century Fiction and Creative Negativity: Four Victorian Exemplars of the Female Quest. She has also edited The Two Thackerays: The Centenary Biographical Introductions of Anne Thackeray Ritchie to the Works of William Makepeace Thackeray (two volumes) and Dramatic Dickens (based on the international Dickens Theater conference she conducted at UT in 1987). Most recently, she published a critical edition of Annie Besant’s 1885 Autobiographical Sketches.