Students' favorites awarded

May 1, 2006 

Which professors do UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate students like most?

According to the 2006 Student Undergraduate Teaching Awards, there are three, plus one staff member and six teaching assistants.

Faculty members Greg Gangi, director of student affairs at the Carolina Environmental Program; Nasser Isleem, a lecturer in Asian studies; and Donna LeFebvre, a lecturer in political science, were recognized for their excellence, as were the following teaching assistants, all graduate students: Jared Anderson, Kerry Callahan-Mandulak, Jeremy A. Pienik, David Pizzo, Timothy J. Williams and Laura Higbie York.

The staff member honored was Brian Payst, director of UNC's Office of Technology and Systems Support for Student Affairs.

The faculty members get $5,000 each; the staff member and teaching assistants receive $1,000.

Students submit nominations to an 11-member selection committee. Committee members review the nominations and interview students to select the winners. This year, the committee received about 50 nominations.

Here's what the nominations said about of the three profs:

DONNA LEFEBVRE: "She fosters the formation of one's own opinions without influencing one way or the other. She encourages tolerance, diversity and creativity in all her efforts. ... Students actually want to come to class."

NASSER ISLEEM: "Professor Isleem stands out in his devotion to all his Arabic classes and students, both inside and outside the classroom. ... He has not only set out to teach us the Arabic language but also to fully engage us in understanding and appreciating Arabic culture. ... Isleem represents a reasonable voice who builds cultural bridges through his energetic pedagogy."

GREG GANGI: "His enthusiasm was contagious and one of the crucial factors in my decision to come to UNC. ... Dr. Gangi is truly an amazing professor who has impacted me, as well as many others' experiences at Carolina."

(UNC News Service, Student Committee Chairman Jonathan Mcneill)

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