Friar Society Selects History Professor for Teaching Excellence Award

April 14, 2008

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin Friar Society awarded Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor of History G. Howard Miller, the 2008-09 Friar Centennial Teaching Fellowship on Monday, April 14. The $15,000 award is the university's largest for undergraduate teaching excellence.

Marianne Carroll (left), a former teaching assistant, and Martha Newman (right), chair of the religious studies department, congratulate a surprised Howard Miller (center).Photo: Christina Murrey

Miller is known for his popular religious studies courses, including, "Religion in U.S. Popular Culture" and "Jesus in American Culture," which is now available online in full-length video recordings.

In keeping with tradition, the Friar Society interrupted Miller's 10 a.m. class with a trumpet parade by the Longhorn Band.

"Dr. Miller is a beloved professor who inspires his students to become more holistic thinkers about the role of religion in society," said Bill Bacon, president of Liberal Arts Council and co-chair of the Friar Centennial Teaching Fellowship. "His innovative teaching style, which includes activities such as having students write a religious autobiography, engages students in a way that distinguishes him among faculty members at the university."

Founded in 1911, the Friar Society is the university's oldest and most respected honor society. Students across campus nominate their favorite professors for the award, and a committee of Friar Society student members selects the award recipient.

A list of prior recipients of the Friar Centennial Teaching Fellowship is online.

For more information, contact: Jennifer McAndrew; Bill Bacon, co-chair, Friar Centennial Teaching Fellowship, 512-964-0649