Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award

Each year, four members of the University faculty are presented Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Awards in recognition of the high quality of their teaching. The selection procedure prescribes that students, faculty, and alumni be given the opportunity to nominate faculty members who meet certain criteria.

Nominations are screened by the Distinguished Teaching Service Awards Committee, and the twenty faculty members receiving the largest number of nominations are notified. If they desire to participate, they are evaluated by their students and department chair.

This information is compiled and reviewed by the Committee which then makes the final selections. Each person who is selected receives a $500 honorarium and a certificate at the spring Faculty Meeting.

Fernando Burgos, Foreign Languages and Literatures

Fernando Burgos Dr. Burgos, a professor of Latin American Studies, is also the director of the graduate program. His areas of research include 19th- and 20th-century Latin American narrative. He has delivered more than 60 papers at national and international conferences and has published 10 books and more than 50 articles in professional journals. He is also a recipient of the Dunavant Professorship in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Research and Creative Achievement in the Humanities.

Students at both the undergraduate and graduate level praise him for his ability to explain things clearly, his sense of humor and his dedication.

One student writes: "In the classroom, Dr. Burgos integrates a variety of approaches and techniques. He is primarily student-centered and his assignments, always creative and thought provoking, continue to challenge me…Never have I had a teacher more dedicated than Dr. Burgos to making sure that I, as well as the rest of his students, receive the best foreign language instruction possible."

Robert Marchini, Physics

Robert Marchini Professor Robert "Bob" Marchini has been teaching at the U of M since 1967. He also serves as the undergraduate advisor and laboratory coordinator in his department and advisor for both Sigma Pi Sigma and the Society of Physics Students. He is well known for his "Magic of Physics" demonstrations, in which he uses an assortment of magician-like tricks to illustrate principles of physics.

Dr. Marchini won the University's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1980 and the Thomas W. Briggs Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2001. He has been recognized by the Tennessee Science Teachers Association and the Tennessee Academy of Science for his service to the science teaching community.

One of Dr. Marchini's greatest contributions to the department, according to Department Chair Shah Jahan, is in the number of students he brings into physics. "Fully half of all of our physics students are ones who changed their majors after being taught by Dr. Marchini." Noting that "one can always find students in his office from early to late", Dr. Jahan states that "the passion he brings to the teaching of physics is contagious, and students just want to be part of this great intellectual exercise. He is the "Pied Piper of Physics."

Yuki Matsuda, Foreign Languages and Literatures

Yuki Matsuda Born in Osaka, Japan, Dr. Yuki Matsuda joined the University of Memphis faculty in 2000. She directs the Japanese language and linguistic courses. Professor Matsuda also teaches advanced Japanese courses in the International MBA program and has served as both a consultant to the Japan Foundation and as a board member of the College Board's first AP Japanese Development Committee.

The chair of the Department of Foreign Language and Literatures credits her "high energy level, genuine devotion and sensitivity to her students' needs as well as her diverse pedagogical strategies" for growing enrollment in Japanese language courses more than four hundred percent in the last seven years.

This remarkable achievement by a single faculty member has led the College of Arts and Science to establish a major in this critical language.