2019 W. Russell and Audrey E. Nesossi-Smith Award for Teaching Excellence

The W. Russell and Audrey E. Nesossi-Smith Teaching Excellence Award honors a faculty member within the College of Arts and Sciences for teaching excellence. All full-time faculty members with at least four years of service in the College of Arts and Sciences are eligible. The award is selected by vote of the graduating seniors and consists of a plaque and $3,750 cash payment.

The award is the College's highest honor for teaching excellence. The selection of a recipient is based primarily on nominations by graduating seniors who are asked to nominate up to three of their professors who have taught for at least three years in the College. What adds to the prestige of this award is the number of faculty members who are nominated by students.

Cynthia Stockton, Sociology

Cynthia StocktonCynthia Stockton earned her BA and MA in sociology from the University of Memphis. During her graduate studies, she was fortunate to find that her professors and mentors were extremely supportive and generous in their guidance. At that time, she primarily focused on research involving adolescent suicide.

Once she graduated, she got a bit of experience teaching as an adjunct sociology instructor at Arkansas State Mid-South (formally Mid-South Community College). This is when she found teaching to be her primary passion.

She has been teaching full time at the University of Memphis since 2014, and has taught courses including Introductory Sociology, Sociology of Gender, Sociology of the Family, Racial and Ethnic Minorities, and Social Statistics.

She credits her mentors and colleagues in the Department of Sociology for her achievements. She states, "The quality and quantity of collegial support and encouragement is especially impressive in our department."