wins UNC Award for Teaching Excellence
Board of Governors of the 16-campus University of North Carolina selected
UNC Pembroke Professor Jeffery Geller to receive the ninth annual Award
for Excellence in Teaching.
Dr. Geller, who
is in his 20th year at UNCP, is incoming chair of the Department of
Philosophy and Religion and teaches
philosophy. He is widely acclaimed for making philosophy a popular course
for successive generations of students and by his colleagues for his
A faculty member
from each of UNC's 16 campuses will receive a commemorative bronze medallion
and a $7,500 cash prize. Dr. Geller is grand marshal for Spring Commencement
of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence has special meaning to the
faculty of UNCP because we place such high value on effective teaching,"
said Dr. Roger Brown, UNCP's provost and vice chancellor for academic
affairs. "The wonderful interaction between students and faculty
is the 'magic' ingredient of our success. Dr. Geller is a worthy addition
to the list of previous winners who have established our reputation
as a university where student learning comes first."
Named chair of his
department this spring, Dr. Geller published an edited collection of
essays on American philosophy this year, entitled "Conversations
with Pragmatism" (Rodolpi Press; New York and Amsterdam). Dr. Geller
has published or collaborated on numerous papers on a wide range of
topics, including film theory, political economy, biology, psychology,
African literature and philosophy.
is a truly serious scholar and an instructor who can communicate difficult
intellectual concepts to his students," said Dr. Tom Leach, dean
of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Geller sets high standards for his students and endeavors to provide
them with the course experience to develop the necessary skills to accomplish
his teaching objectives," Dean Leach said. "He works hard
to enable students to acquire the mental flexibility to analyze and
critique a wide range of intellectual positions in order to deal effectively
with the issues and problems facing a citizen of the world in the 21st
scholarship, world travels, and involvement in numerous summer study
programs enrich his own perspective and give his students the chance
to learn from a truly cosmopolitan scholar," Dr. Leach said.
Dr. Geller encourages
students to review materials critically and to become more independent
learners. Students say he teaches to their particular learning style.
"I really liked
his class because he made the material easy to remember," said
UNCP student Sheri Sides. "Dr. Geller got me interested in philosophy
because I could see different ways of thinking."
Dr. Geller said
his diverse interests in sports, art, music and theatre keep him occupied
and connect him with varied students and colleagues.
The former Fulbright
Teaching Fellow said he also enjoys the collegial atmosphere at UNCP.
"I regard the
university as a team, and I enjoy working with my colleagues,"
he said. "Each of us has a job to do, but we are a community, and
it's a nice community to be part of."
The enrollment growth
of UNC Pembroke has also been stimulating for Dr. Geller, who looks
forward to the exciting opportunities that a larger university community
will make possible.
and change will present challenges, the upside possibilities justify
the temporary disadvantages of larger classes," Dr. Geller said.
"I am confident that we will continue to give the individual attention
our students deserve."
Dr. Geller is active
in international education on campus, working with international students,
serving on the committee for international exchanges and coordinating
a German exchange program.
The recipients of
the Teaching Excellence Award were nominated by special committees on
their campuses and selected by the Board of Governors Committee on Teaching
Awards. The awards will be presented by UNC President Molly Corbett
Broad and Board of Governors Chairman J. Bradley Wilson of Cary in May.
Established by the
Board of Governors in April 1994 to underscore the importance of teaching
and to reward good teaching across the university, the awards are given
annually to a tenured faculty member from each UNC campus. Winners must
have taught at their present institutions at least seven years. No one
may receive the award more than once.
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