The University of New Orleans International Alumni Association announced that the winners of the 2014-15 Excellence in Teaching Awards are Paul Schilling, professor of mechanical engineering, and Randy Bates, professor of English.
Each year up to two awards are bestowed upon faculty members who exhibit excellence in teaching. The winners are chosen by a selection committee that is comprised of past award recipients and a representative of the UNO International Alumni Association.
Both Schilling and Bates were recognized for their enthusiasm for teaching, devotion to their students and dedication to facilitating student success. They have consistently received exceptional teaching evaluations from students. Schilling and Bates will each receive a cash award of $2,000.
Schilling, professor and chair of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, has taught at UNO for 16 years. According to Schilling, his teaching philosophy is to explain complex concepts clearly and concisely, and to make himself available as much as possible to answer questions and help students outside of designated class time.
“Given the difficulty of the courses he teaches and the grade distributions—which show he is not an ‘easy grader,’ the outstanding teacher evaluation scores Dr. Schilling receives are even more meaningful and impressive,” Edit Bourgeois, professor of electrical engineering, wrote in a recommendation letter.
Bates, a 16-year veteran of UNO’s College of Liberal Arts, primarily teaches poetry and literature courses in nonfiction. He also serves as the nonfiction editor of Bayou Magazine, UNO’s biannual literary magazine.
“Professor Bates’ students speak time and again of his knowledge and mastery of literature, of his passion for what he teaches, of his supportive, nurturing character, of his guidance and inspiration, generously offered to each and every one of them, of his expert facilitation of writing workshops, and his invaluable mentoring,” Leslie White, associate professor of English, wrote in a recommendation letter.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony prior to UNO’s fall 2015 commencement on Dec. 18.