Kupper receives 2007 Distinguished Teaching Award for lifetime achievement

February 22, 2007
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Wednesday, Feb. 21, announced recipients of the 2007 distinguished teaching awards, the highest campus-wide recognition for teaching excellence.


Photograph of Dr. Lawrence Kupper

Photograph of Dr. Lawrence Kupper


Dr. Lawrence Kupper, professor in biostatistics, School of Public Health, received the Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement, which acknowledges “teaching beyond the classroom.” Created in 1997, this award carries a one-time stipend of $1,000.

The 22 honorees, selected in nine categories, were recognized during halftime of the Carolina-N.C. State men’s basketball game. They will be recognized by Chancellor James Moeser at an awards banquet this spring.

The University Committee on Teaching Awards, affiliated with the Office of the Provost, reviews nominees, collects additional information and recommends nominees to the chancellor on six of the nine award categories. Separate committees in the College of Arts and Sciences chose winners of the Sanders and Sitterson awards, working closely with the campus-wide committee. Fellows in the Johnston Scholarship Program nominated and selected the Johnston Award winner and also worked with the campus-wide committee.

This year’s honorees come from the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of medicine, pharmacy and public health.

The Tanner Faculty Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching go to five faculty members and carry a one-time stipend of $5,000. Recipients are Drs. Ted Mouw, associate professor in sociology; Tim McMillan, adjunct assistant professor in African and Afro-American studies; James Rose, professor in physics and astronomy; Ralph Byrns, adjunct professor in economics; and Marcie Cohen Ferris, assistant professor in the Curriculum in American studies.

The awards were created in 1952 with a bequest by Kenneth S. Tanner, a member of the class of 1911, and his sister, Sara Tanner Crawford, establishing an endowment fund in memory of their parents, Lola Spencer and Simpson Bobo Tanner.

Carolina expanded the scope of the Tanner faculty awards in 1990 to recognize excellence in the teaching of undergraduates by graduate teaching assistants. The Tanner Teaching Assistants’ Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching went to five graduate teaching assistants and carry a one-time stipend of $1,000. The recipients are: Michael Aguilar, economics; L. Michael Allsep Jr., history; Elizabeth Bruno, romance languages; Teresa McAlpine, communication studies; and Stacy-Lynn Waddell, art.

Dr. Linda Wagner-Martin, Distinguished professor in English, received the William C. Friday/Class of 1986 Award for Excellence in Teaching, which honors one undergraduate faculty member and includes a one-time stipend of $5,000.

The award, created with a gift from the class of 1986, honors full-time undergraduate faculty who have exemplified excellence in inspirational teaching. Friday, the award’s namesake, served 30 years as UNC system president (until his retirement in 1986) and now is University Distinguished Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Dr. Mark Schoenfisch, associate professor in chemistry, received the John L. Sanders Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and Service. The award, which carries a one-time stipend of $5,000, recognizes excellence in the teaching, advising and mentoring of undergraduate students in a manner consistent with the life and values of Sanders, longtime director of the UNC Institute of Government, now part of the School of Government. The award was created in 1995 by UNC alumnus Ben M. Jones III, of Hendersonville and Naples, Fla., to honor Sanders.

Dr. Abigail Panter, associate professor in psychology, received the J. Carlyle Sitterson Freshman Teaching Award, which goes to a faculty member teaching first-year students and carries a one-time stipend of $5,000.

The award was created in 1998 by the family of the late J. Carlyle Sitterson to recognize excellence in freshman teaching by a tenured or tenure-track faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences. Sitterson was a Kenan professor of history and chancellor from 1966 to 1972.

The Distinguished Teaching Awards for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction go to four full-time faculty members and carry a one-time stipend of $5,000. The recipients are: Drs. John Grose, professor in the School of Medicine; Lawrence Grossberg, distinguished professor in communication studies and adjunct distinguished professor in anthropology; Mark Hollins, professor in psychology; and Edmund Allen Liles Jr., clinical assistant professor in the School of Medicine. The award was first given by the university in 1995.


The Johnston Teaching Excellence Awards go to faculty members for excellence in undergraduate teaching. Recipients receive $5,000. The winners are Marianne Gingher, associate professor in English, and Dr. John Florin, associate professor in geography. Created in 1991, the award is funded by the James M. Johnston Scholarship Program, which provides need-based scholarships to the university.

The University Professor of Distinguished Teaching Award, given every three years, provides two three-year term professorships recognizing career teaching excellence. One award is for tenured faculty in academic affairs, including professional schools, and one is for tenured faculty in health affairs. Each recipient receives a stipend of $3,000 annually. The recipients are Drs. Pamela Cooper, associate professor in English, and Boka Hadzija, professor in the School of Pharmacy.

This year’s UNC-Chapel Hill nominee for the UNC Board of Governors’ Award for Excellence in Teaching is Dr. Stephen Birdsall, professor in geography and former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Established by the Board of Governors in April 1994 to underscore the importance of teaching and to reward good teaching across the UNC system, the awards are given annually to a tenured faculty member from each UNC campus and will be formally announced at the March Board of Governors meeting.

Nominees, who each receive a $7,500 stipend and a bronze medallion, will be honored at a luncheon this spring.


Contact: Mike McFarland, (919) 962-8593, mike_mcfarland@unc.edu.

School of Public Health contact: Ramona DuBose, (919) 966-7467, ramona_dubose@unc.edu.