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Mahar receives UNC Board of Governors teaching award

(Apr. 26, 2007)   —   Matthew Mahar, a professor of exercise and sport science at East Carolina University, was named one of the top educators in the University of North Carolina system.

Mahar was one of 16 professors who will be honored May 11 with the UNC Board of Governors Annual Awards for Excellence in Teaching. UNC President Erskine Bowles and Board of Governors Chairman Jim Phillips will present Mahar and his colleagues each with a bronze medallion and a $7,500 cash prize.

An ECU faculty member since 1993, Mahar has received ECU’s Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award, as well as the Scholar-Teacher Award in the College of Health and Human Performance. Mahar is the founding director of ECU’s Activity Performance Lab in the College of Health and Human Performance, and his research interests have resulted in 45 grants totaling $800,000. He received his baccalaureate degree from the State University of New York at Cortland and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Houston.

“The central tenets of my teaching philosophy are to help students learn to think critically and develop a sense of self-responsibility,” Mahar said. “If we are successful, the students will become lifelong learners, make valid decisions in their professional life, and choose to make important contributions to their field.”

The recipients of the UNC system’s most prestigious award are nominated by special committees on their home campuses and selected by the Board of Governors Committee on Personnel and Tenure, chaired by Charles Mercer of Raleigh. Established by the Board of Governors in 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.

Other recipients are: Melanie Greene, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, Appalachian State University; Claudie Mackey, professor of psychology, Elizabeth City State University; Dianne White Oyler, associate professor of history, Fayetteville State University; Mary Smith, associate professor of biology, N.C. A&T State University; Sylvia Jacobs, professor of history, N.C. Central University; John Toia, director of stage management, NC School of the Arts; and William Swallow, professor of statistics, N.C. State University.

Also: Melissa Himelein, professor of psychology, UNC Asheville; Stephen Birdsall, professor of geography, UNC-Chapel Hill; James Holt McGavran, Jr., professor of English, UNC Charlotte; Kevin Lowe, associate professor of business administration, UNC Greensboro; José D’Arruda, professor of physics, UNC Pembroke; Sherrill Martin, professor of music, UNC Wilmington; Julia Barnes, associate professor of mathematics, Western Carolina University; and Irene Phillips, associate professor of occupational therapy, Winston-Salem State University.


Contact: ECU News Bureau | 252-328-6481