Joanna Kepka (Honors) is the recipient of the 2020-21 Alex G. and Faye Spanos Distinguished Teaching Award. Carrying a stipend of $2,000, the annual award recognizes an outstanding UNLV faculty member for their excellence and innovation in teaching and mentorship. To be eligible, faculty members must have previously won a college teaching award. Kepka received the 2020 Len Zane Excellence in Honors Teaching Award from the Honors College. She also received the 2019 UNLV Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award and won the UNLV Outstanding Teaching by Part-time Faculty Award on two separate occasions.
A cultural-political geographer with regional specialties in Europe and the Middle East, Kepka focuses her teaching and research on the dynamics of political organization of space and their implications on ethnic and national identities. She holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in political geography from the University of Oregon and a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from Macalester College.