photograph of three medals for the Academy of Distinguished Teachers honors.

The UT Tower will shine with burnt orange lights Wednesday, September 25 in honor of the new inductees into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

UT’s prestigious Academy of Distinguished Teachers honors excellence in teaching at the undergraduate level, and five new members will be inducted this year.

The 2019 inductees were nominated by their respective deans and selected through a rigorous evaluation process. The selection process is led by a committee comprised of current members of the Academy, other faculty peers, students and administrators.

Members are awarded the title Distinguished Teaching Professor and serve for the duration of their tenure at UT Austin.

The 2019 inductees are:

  • Keffrelyn Brown, professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education
  • Kevin Cokley, professor, Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, College of Liberal Arts
  • Julie Hardwick, professor, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts
  • Desiderio Kovar, professor, Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Ramesh Rao, professor, Department of Finance, McCombs School of Business

The Academy of Distinguished Teachers is emblematic of the university’s commitment to excellence in teaching. Comprised of approximately five percent of tenured faculty, the Academy provides leadership to improve the quality and depth of the undergraduate experience.

“It my pleasure and honor to congratulate these five faculty members on their selection for this prestigious award,” said Maurie McInnis, executive vice president and provost. “Their outstanding teaching and dedication to our students is highly valued, and I look forward to working with them and the Academy.”

Members of the Academy advise the president and provost on matters related to the university’s instructional mission, participate in seminars, colloquia, lead workshops on teaching effectiveness and serve as mentors to new faculty.

The Academy supports the teaching mission by:

  • Honoring and rewarding excellence in teaching
  • Enhancing teaching effectiveness, particularly at the undergraduate level
  • Creating a central core of teachers who can serve as a resource and an inspiration for other teachers
  • Selecting a body of faculty who can promote a sense of community among teachers, foster research on effective college teaching and learning, and advise the institution on teaching policies and practices

The inductees will be honored at the annual Academy of Distinguished Teachers dinner in the fall.

For more information about the award, readers can visit: