Kenya woman among winners of teaching awards in North Carolina


Kenya woman among winners of teaching awards in North Carolina
CHAPEL HILL — A health and wellness specialist at N.C. A&T and a math expert at the Nanoschool in Greensboro are among the winners of the annual Awards for Teaching Excellence, the UNC system’s top teaching awards.

The 2015 winners, announced today, come from each of the system’s 17 campuses.

Among this year’s winners are Jerono Rotich, an associate professor of human performance and leisure studies at A&T’s School of Education; and Joseph Starobin, an associate professor of nanoscience at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Engineering.

Rotich, first educated in Kenya, has worked at A&T since 2005, a year after she got her doctorate from UNCG. She specializes in health, fitness and safety and developed a distance education global studies class that lets A&T students interact by real-time videoconference with students in China, Senegal and India.

The UNC system in a release said that Rotich’s students and colleagues “praise her commitment, enthusiasm, integrity, and genuine concern for students inside and outside the classroom.”

Educated in Russia, Starobin first joined the UNCG faculty in 1997 as a visiting professor, then returned in 2007 as a research professor in the physics and astronomy department. He joined UNCG’s nanoscience school, housed at the Joint School on East Lee Street, in 2010.

Starobin revamped and taught a nanomath course at the school. He also leads the school’s outreach program to area K-12 schools. Starobin twice won the Joint School’s annual teaching excellence award, and the UNC system said “in evaluations, students consistently praise Professor Starobin for his passion for teaching.”

The 17 recipients are nominated by committees on their home campuses and selected by the UNC Board of Governors personnel and tenure committee. The winners receive a commemorative bronze medallion and $12,500, which will presented at commencement ceremonies in May.

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