Alex G. and Faye Spanos Distinguished Teaching Award
William Holcomb, kinesiology and nutrition sciences
Holcomb, who has taught at UNLV for 13 years, teaches both undergraduate courses in sports injury management for students majoring in athletic training and graduate classes in the sports medicine concentration of the kinesiology program.
"I prefer to teach the undergraduate classes and my favorite is therapeutic exercise," Holcomb said. "The course is very challenging and incorporates a number of other areas such as exercise physiology, strength and conditioning, and biomechanics. I believe therapeutic exercise is the area where athletic trainers have the greatest impact on the injured athlete."
UNLV Alumni Association Outstanding Faculty Award
Pradip Bhowmik, chemistry
A professor at UNLV since 1998, Bhowmik teaches organic chemistry classes to both undergraduate and graduate students.
Bhowmik said organic chemistry "is widely (and, I believe, justifiably) reputed to be the most difficult course in the chemistry curriculum and one of the most difficult in any curriculum, for that matter, at any educational institution.
"I find immense pleasure in seeing our students gain life-changing educational experiences and move on to their professional careers in top-tier medical, dental, and graduate schools, among other professional schools. A teacher cannot get more satisfaction than from watching his/her students thrive in their professional careers."
UNLV Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award
Andrew Bell, history
Bell has taught at UNLV since 1994. Among the undergraduate courses he teaches are European Civilization to 1648, Citizens and Slaves, Greek Civilization, Roman Civilization, Great Personalities, and classes on ancient religion and social status.
Bell said he enjoys all the classes he teaches, "but I do derive particular satisfaction from introductory, 100-level courses where I have the opportunity to offer to students the excitement of starting to understand ancient, pre-industrial societies. Greek and Roman civilizations are amazingly rich in challenges to think about how people are always in thrall to the power of habit and assumption, and yet always able to articulate eloquently recognition of the complexities of individual and social existence."
MaryKay Orgill, chemistry
Orgill has been at UNLV for six years, teaching introductory general chemistry and chemistry for nursing students, as well as biochemistry courses. During the summer she usually is the instructor of record for graduate courses in science content for local teachers.
She said students in the entry-level courses are often "uncomfortable or even afraid of chemistry when they start. It's really an amazing process to watch students grow from being unsure of themselves to becoming confident enough in themselves and in their chemistry knowledge that they volunteer to help other students develop that same understanding and confidence."
Anita Tijerina Revilla, women's studies
Revilla has taught both undergraduate and gradute courses at UNLV for six years. Her research focuses on student movements and social justice education, specifically in the areas of Chicana/Latina, immigrant, feminist, and Queer rights activism.
"My favorite class is Race, Class & Gender. The class is always a challenge because many students take the course simply to fulfill a general education requirement," she said. "However, after taking the course, they find that the class offers them so much more. In particular, it offers them the opportunity to experience an interactive classroom that analyzes and investigates the very real struggles that exist all around them with regard to racism, classism, sexism, and homophobia. Many of the students leave the classroom yearning further education and motivated for community and civic engagement."
Educational Outreach Faculty Excellence Award
Geri Kodey, photography instructor
Kodey has taught for educational outreach for the past four years. She has also worked full time for UNLV as photo services manager since 2002.
She teaches How to Take Better Photographs and Beyond the Basics of Photography. She also has served as co-leader, along with a geologist, of a weeklong rafting trip through the Grand Canyon offered by Educational Outreach.
"The beginning class is my favorite because I've got people who are so excited to take a great photo for the first time -- people who always have wanted to be able to do that," she said. "The excitement they show when they've finally taken a photo that they feel good about is the reason I come back."