More than 21 faculty members at East Carolina University have been recognized for teaching excellence by the university and the UNC Board of Governors.

“Great teaching is always at the center of a great university,” said Dr. Ron Mitchelson, ECU interim chancellor. “ECU is blessed to have a world-class faculty who are devoted to our students and their success. It is enormously important that we recognize outstanding teaching across the faculty of our colleges and schools.

“Although we were unable to gather in person with our outstanding nominees and award winners for our annual University Teaching Awards reception and recognition due to COVID-19, please know that your contributions and excellence in teaching are remarkable and well deserved.”

Ten faculty members were recognized with Scholar-Teacher Awards for engaging students in research, incorporating research in their teaching and demonstrating the synergy between scholarship and teaching. The following were selected from their college or school:

  • Elizabeth Ables, Department of Biology
  • Jill Matarelli Carlson, School of Theatre and Dance
  • Michelle Eble, Department of English
  • Randall Etheridge, Department of Engineering
  • Ian Hines, Department of Nutrition Science
  • Lee Ann Johnson, Department of Nursing Science
  • Javier Lorenzo, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
  • Tim Madden, Department of Management
  • Matt Militello, Department of Educational Leadership
  • Michael Stellefson, Department of Health Education and Promotion

The East Carolina Alumni Association honored Dr. Sheresa Blanchard of the Department of Human Development and Family Science, and Dr. Joy Karriker of the Department of Management with Outstanding Teaching Awards.

The alumni association also recognized Dawn Shelton of the Department of Elementary Education and Middle Grades Education with the Robert L. Jones Award, and Dr. Brent Henze of the Department of English with the Max Ray Joyner Award for Outstanding Teaching in Distance Education.

“Dr. Henze has made the often-alienating experience of distance education feel local by getting to know me (and all his students) personally, as individuals, and tailored his methodologies to help his students become the best version of themselves,” said one of Henze’s students.

Students lauded Shelton for going above and beyond the curriculum by providing real-life experiences and connections, and for making a personal connection and supporting every student in the room.

Each year the UNC Board of Governors (BOG) recognizes outstanding faculty members throughout the UNC System. This year’s Distinguished Professor for Teaching Awards included:

  • Eboni J. Baugh, Department of Human Development and Family Science
  • Amanda L. Klein, Department of English
  • Hugh McLean Lee, Department of Bioethics & Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Andrew L. Sargent, Department of Chemistry
  • Raychl E. Smith, School of Music
  • Beth E. Thompson, Department of Biology

The BOG also recognized Dr. William E. Allen of the Department of Chemistry with its Award for Excellence in Teaching.

“These awards recognize the expertise, effort and ingenuity of our incredible faculty,” said Dr. Grant Hayes, ECU acting provost. “These educators embody ECU’s mission to be a national model for student success, and we are proud to honor their contributions and the positive impact they have on the lives and futures of our ECU Pirates.”

Scrimgeour winner of NCLR’s Albright Prize

Andrew Scrimgeour of Cary is the winner of the 2020 Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize competition for “Trouble in the Heartland,” which will be published in the North Carolina Literary Review’s (NCLR) 30th issue in 2021. The author will receive $500.

“This piece demonstrates a storyteller’s eye for detail and significant action,” said final judge Philip Gerard. “It’s a kind of reportage with its own narrative intelligence informing the story of a lecture — one fraught with controversy and opening a vein in the moral fiber of many of those who have come to protest. The writing is fluent and restrained, vivid and full of an unusual kind of suspense.”

Scrimgeour’s stories and essays have been published in The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Authors Guild Bulletin, and “The Moment: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories” (Harper Perennial, 2012). Twice the New York Times published his stories on Christmas weekend, and now he is completing a book of Christmas stories. The author of numerous articles, he is the editor of “Just Call Me Bob: The Wit and Wisdom of Robert W. Funk” (2007) and “The Legacy of Robert W. Funk: Reforming the Scholarly Model” (2018), and he is writing a full-length biography of Funk.

In early 2021, Penn State University Press will publish Scrimgeour’s “The Prophetic Quest: The Stained Glass Windows of Jacob Landau,” co-authored by David S. Herrstrom, with photography by Tom Crane. Scrimgeour is Dean of Libraries Emeritus, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey, and lives with his wife Dorothy in Cary.

For second place, Gerard selected Glenis Redmond’s essay “On Beauty,” saying it “addresses an important subject with verve and passion” and that Redmond “made her points powerfully.” Redmond lived in North Carolina for 17 years and helped create the first writer-in-residence at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock. Her essay will also be published in the 30th issue of NCLR, and the author will receive $300. An interview with her appears in NCLR 2019’s special feature section on African American writers.

Gerard also picked two honorable mentions: “Bird Brained” by Hannah Towey and “Measured” by Susan Wilson. Towey is a junior at UNC Chapel Hill studying journalism and global studies, with a minor in creative writing. Wilson is a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill. Her work has appeared in Flying South, Barely South Review and several anthologies. Each author will receive $100.

The other finalists in this year’s competition were “S.O.S.” by Sarah E. Bode, “Stitch” by Elaine Neil Orr, and “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” also by Susan Wilson.

Gerard is the award-winning author of “Cape Fear Rising,” as well as 13 other fiction and nonfiction works, most recently “The Last Battleground: The Civil War Comes to North Carolina.” He is a professor of creative writing at UNC Wilmington. In fall 2019, Gov. Roy Cooper presented him with the North Carolina Award for Literature.

Produced since 1992 at ECU, NCLR has won numerous awards and citations. The Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize was created in 2015 to honor the founding editor of NCLR. Now retired, Albright taught English at ECU for many years. The first Albright Prize winner was published in the 25th issue of NCLR in 2016. The competition requires no submission fee, but writers must subscribe to NCLR to submit. Either the writer or the subject matter of the submission must have a North Carolina connection. For submission information, visit For subscription information, visit

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