A National Honor
Richard Cherwitz receives prestigious teaching award
The Washington, D.C.-based National Communication Association recently selected Richard A. Cherwitz, communication studies professor in The University of Texas at Austin's College of Communication, as its 2012 Donald H. Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education recipient.
The award, which the association will formally present in November at its 98th Annual Convention in Orlando, honors professors for excellence in teaching. The association established the award in 1988. John Daly, professor in the Department of Communication Studies and McCombs School of Business, received the award in 2002.
"Rick and I formerly taught cognate courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, so I heard about his teaching constantly from my students," said College of Communication Dean Roderick P. Hart. "They were always impressed with his careful lecturing style, his ability to ask stimulating questions and his concern for them as human beings."
In addition to teaching in the College of Communication since 1978, Cherwitz is founder and director of the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium (IE), a vice presidential initiative of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE). Viewing academics as innovators and citizen-scholars, IE is working to attract more students – especially minorities and first-generation college students – to graduate school.
Through its Pre-Graduate School Internships, undergraduates are paired with graduate mentors on research projects that help them decide whether to pursue graduate school.
Endorsed by educational leaders across the U.S., IE helps about 400 students each year. The University of Texas at Austin is seeking $50 million in private support to offer the program to more students and increase the university's level of service to the community.
"A great many UT students have responded to this program with unbounded enthusiasm over the years," said Dean Hart. "Indeed, Rick's program has been the main reason why a good many first-generation undergraduates at UT have applied for graduate study. As Rick's dean, I have supported the IE Program financially and I am exceedingly proud of what it has accomplished."
Cherwitz also is the past recipient of the National Communication Association's Karl R. Wallace Memorial Award and the Douglas Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award. Cherwitz received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1978.
Laura Byerley, (512) 471-2182