Six Faculty Members Inducted into Teaching Academy

Jeff RyanFAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas Teaching Academy welcomed six new members into its ranks in December. The academy is made up of faculty members who have established a record of outstanding teaching, and a mission to promote and stimulate an environment of teaching and learning excellence on the university campus.

One of the new members, Jeff Ryan, also won the Dr. John and Mrs. Lois Imhoff Award for Outstanding Teaching and Student Mentorship. The award recognizes a university faculty member who has demonstrated consistent and committed excellence in teaching, instruction and mentoring.

Ryan is an associate professor of political science in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. Ryan has won numerous teaching awards since coming to the university in 1990, including the Fulbright College Master Teacher Award in 1996 and the Undergraduate Research Excellence Award-Mentor in 1998, 2005 and 2011. He was named an Outstanding Mentor by the Honors College in 2011. Ryan has mentored graduate teaching assistants for decades and has accompanied students on study abroad trips. He is a conscientious program adviser and attentive thesis mentor. His students point to his generosity of time and accessibility, specifically noting the impact he has had on their career achievements.

The 2011 Teaching Academy inductees are:



Magda El-Shenawee, professor of electrical engineering in the College of Engineering. She teaches some of the most challenging core courses for electrical engineering and receives consistently high teaching evaluations. She has also guided the honors thesis of many undergraduates on such topics as nano-antennas, enhanced plasmonic antennas and early breast cancer detection. She won the John Imhoff Teaching Award, the top teaching award in the College of Engineering, in 2010.



Kevin D. Hall, professor and department head of civil engineering in the College of Engineering. He has received a number of awards in civil engineering as well as the University Alumni Association Teaching and Research Award in 2006. He routinely receives the highest of teaching evaluations. Hall also serves as faculty adviser to the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers, which engages 130 students in service learning activities and student design competitions.



Jennifer Hoyer, assistant professor of foreign languages in Fulbright College. She won the Fulbright College Master Teacher Award in 2011. Her students give her high evaluations for her innovative approach to teaching German, including the use of student groups, the Internet, simulated games and student presentations. She also provides lectures on German culture.



John Pijanowski, associate professor of educational leadership in the College of Education and Health Professions. Pijanowski was the winner of the Charles and Nadine Baum University Teaching Award in 2011. He was given the STAR Award for Outstanding Faculty in Education in 2010 and a Rising STAR Award for outstanding Junior Faculty in 2009. During his time at the university he has developed 10 new courses and he is currently the program coordinator for educational leadership.


Javier Reyes, professor of economics, associate dean for undergraduate studies and director of the honors program in the Sam M. Walton College of Business. Reyes is an authority on monetary theory and policy issues in emerging economies and an outstanding teacher. He was recognized in 2006, 2008 and 2010 as an Outstanding Mentor, won the Faculty Gold Medal Award in 2008 from the office of post-graduate fellowships, the 2009 Best All Around Faculty Member Award in Walton College, and the Distinguished Faculty Award for Research, Teaching and Service.