Two Women Named Professors of the Year

The U.S. Professors of the Year program salutes the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country, those who excel in teaching and positively influence the lives and careers of students. National awards are given out in four categories: baccalaureate colleges; community colleges; doctoral and research universities; and master’s universities and colleges. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education launched the awards program in 1981. That same year, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching began hosting the final round of judging, and in 1982, became the primary sponsor.

This year, two of the four national award winners are women.

Ursula L. Shepherd, an associate professor of biology at the University of Mexico was honored in the doctoral and research universities category. She has taught at the University of New Mexico for 15 years. Previously, she worked for a software company in California but made a career change in the late 1980s.

Dr. Shepherd went back to school and earned a second bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in biology at the University of New Mexico. Since joining the faculty she established the biology curriculum at the Honors College and founded a research program for University of New Mexico students to study abroad in Australia.

Kathryn C. Wetzel is the Professor of the Year in the community colleges category. She is a professor of mathematics and engineering at Amarillo College in Texas. She also serves as chair of the department of mathematics, sciences, and engineering. She began teaching at the college in 1986 after working as nuclear engineer.

Dr. Wetzel is a graduate of Texas A&M University. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in engineering from Texas Tech University.

Filed Under: FacultyNews


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