Three TJC professors recognized for teaching excellence

Three Tyler Junior College professors have distinguished themselves as endowed teaching chairs for 2019.

The TJC Endowed Chair for Teaching Excellence program enables professors to nominate and reward their peers who demonstrate excellence as educators.

This year’s recipients are:
• Jae Jerkins, professor, humanities and philosophy – The Thomas Shelby, Jr. Endowed Chair for Teaching Excellence
• James Ledet, coordinator/professor, public administration and criminal justice – The George W. Pirtle and El Freda Taylor Pirtle Endowed Chair for Teaching Excellence
• Regan Minkel, English professor – The Dorothy Fay and Jack White Endowed Chair for Teaching Excellence

Winners were surprised during their respective classes with a fanfare of applause and balloons, followed by presentations of certificates and checks from TJC Chancellor and CEO Dr. Mike Metke and Dr. Juan E. Mejia, TJC president for branch locations and district provost.

“I sincerely congratulate this year’s recipients, and I express appreciation to Tim Gill, president of the TJC Faculty Senate, and to Nancy Carter, chair of the selection committee, and to the committee members, for their focus on identifying teaching excellence,” Mejia said. “They are truly among the finest educators in the country.”

Endowed teaching chair recipients receive $2,000 for each of two years ($4,000 total), which includes a $1,500 cash stipend and $500 for professional development for each year. The professional development portion may be applied toward a personal professional development plan, including travel, books, conferences and equipment.

Their cash awards, along with a commemorative medallion, will be presented during TJC’s Fall Convocation in August.

Fifteen full-time TJC professors were nominated by their peers to apply for the award. Of those nominees, six professors underwent the intense application process.

Those nominees were: Jacob Davis, theater professor; Jerkins; Ledet; Minkel; Stacey Norrell, clinical director/professor, dental hygiene; and Lynn Sitton, department chair and professor, child development/early childhood.

Since the program’s inception in 1990, 82 professors have been designated as distinguished TJC endowed chairs.

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