The School of Arts and Humanities has recently recognized outstanding faculty, staff and alumni with a number of awards.

“The recipients are dedicated, effective and deservedly award-winning teachers, staff and alumni who are improving the lives of students and the community,” said Dr. Dennis M. Kratz, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities.

Dr. Dan Wickberg, associate professor of history, was named the Victor Worsfold Teacher of the Year.

“I am humbled by this recognition. It is a great honor and a confirmation of my methods and goals as teacher,” said Wickberg.

“My goal is always to challenge students to be more rigorous in their thinking and argumentation, to open up problems to complex understandings rather than provide easy answers, and to have students leave with a sense of the difficulty of historical reasoning and critical thinking.”

The Victor Worsfold Teaching Assistant (TA) of the Year award was given to Lilian Calles Barger, a PhD candidate in the history of ideas.

“The job is much more than assisting a professor in the everyday of classroom management, it’s a remarkable learning opportunity of apprenticeship. Not only have I had a chance to see up close various teaching methods, but also gained exposure to a wide variety of often challenging subject matter,” Barger said.

Barger will be teaching an American history survey course in spring 2012 – she says she is prepared after her role as a TA.

Michelle Long received the Jo Ellen Roach Staff of the Year award. Long has been a graphics designer in the School of Arts and Humanities for 11 years.

“Michelle does such a great job – she is known as the ‘graphics goddess’ for the incredible work she produces,” said Kratz.

Dr. Peggy Brown and Kathryn Pabst were named Alumni of the Year.

Brown received her bachelor’s degree in literary studies, master’s degree in aesthetic studies, and PhD in humanities from UT Dallas. She has been on the faculty at Collin College for 25 years and teaches English composition, humanities and creative writing. In 2009, Brown was honored as the outstanding professor of Collin College and with the Minnie Piper Stevens teaching award.

“I want to acknowledge the outstanding faculty who guided me through UT Dallas’ exemplary interdisciplinary program. At the top of that list is Dean Kratz, who directed my dissertation and taught me that joyful learning generates excellence. I strive to model that concept for my students,” said Brown.

Brown was in the first class that Kratz taught after coming to UT Dallas in 1978.

Pabst is a secondary English curriculum specialist for Lovejoy ISD. She is a graduate of the MAT program.

Pabst said Dr. Rainer Schulte, professor in the School of Arts and Humanities at UT Dallas, and the director of the Center for Translation Studies, ignited her passion for teaching and learning.

“He enticed me to integrate the arts: visual, musical and literary into a cohesive understanding of the world.  I am indebted to him,” Pabst said.

“I have remained connected to the University through my friendship with Richard Merrick, a member of the advisory board of the School of Arts and Humanities,” Pabst added. “My son Karl even graduated summa cum laude with a degree in literary studies this year. I am proud to be a part of the growing UT Dallas community.”

Full story available from the UT Dallas News Center.