Outstanding Teacher Award


Award Description

The Betty and Earlon McWhorter Outstanding Teacher Award, established in 1993, is a faculty administered award designed to honor an outstanding faculty member in their efforts in teaching at Jacksonville State University.

This award was made possible because of the generous donations of Mr. Earlon and Mrs. Betty McWhorter, both of whom have been avid supporters of the university for many years.  Earlon McWhorter grew up near Jacksonville, Alabama and attended JSU as an undergraduate, majoring in pre-engineering.  He and wife Betty have gone on record to say that during their time at JSU, they “had many outstanding teachers” and they wanted to “do something to honor them.” In addition to gifting the university with housing support, they have also chosen to financially contribute to the success of the university through scholarship opportunities and through the establishment of the Betty and Earlon McWhorter Outstanding Teacher Award.

This award recognizes faculty members who create opportunities for students to grow intellectually while providing them an atmosphere where they can thrive and succeed. The person selected for this honor will receive an honorarium of $1,500, a budget of $500 for expenses, and a framed certificate that recognizes this accomplishment.

Criteria and Eligibility

*Although there are no absolute criteria as to what constitutes excellence in teaching, the following is a suggested list of criteria expected to be exhibited by a McWhorter awardee.

  • Full-time faculty holding the rank of Instructor or higher
  • Evidence of teaching excellence beyond the classroom through curricular development, academic planning, and innovative pedagogical methods
  • Evidence of scholarship related to teaching and learning through presentations and publications
  • Evidence of effective assessment measures to document student learning
  • Evidence of high teachings standards, professional relationships with colleagues, and cultivated relationships with students that demonstrate a significant impact on their lives

Nomination Procedures

A selection committee composed of faculty will review nomination packets. Nominations by students, colleagues, department heads, or deans are encouraged. Only teaching accomplishments during the previous academic year including Fall 2022, Spring 2023, and Summer 2023 will be considered for this award. Nominators should inform nominees that they are being nominated and may solicit their assistance in preparing nomination materials.

Required Nomination Documents

The nomination packet for this award will consist of the following, compiled into one single PDF file in the order indicated. Please contact Faculty Commons if you need assistance compiling documentation into a PDF file. 

  1. One official Letter of Nomination by the nominator(s) advocating the basis for the nomination (relating nominee’s teaching activity to the criteria for the award)
  2. Up to three additional Letters of Support from internal or external colleagues and students to complement the Letter of Nomination—*No more than three additional Letters of Support will be considered.
  3.  Nominee’s curriculum vitae (abbreviated and concise, no more than five pages)—*Contact the nominee’s departmental Administrative Assistant to acquire a CV.
  4. Supporting documentation may include student reflections, teaching evaluations from students and faculty, papers or presentations that show student engagement, articles on teaching success and effectiveness, etc.   

Nomination Deadline

All nominations must be submitted electronically via the Faculty Awards nomination form, linked below, no later than 4:30 PM CST on Friday, February 16, 2024.


2023 Ashley Turner, President Killingsworth, and Provost Shelton

Dr. Ashley Turner

Assistant Professor of Biology

2022 CoCo

Jianping "Coco" Huang

Assistant Professor of Marketing

2021 Audria White

Audria White

Instructor of Mathematics

2020 Ken Bodiford

Dr. Kenneth Bodiford

Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music

2019 Mary Springer

Dr. Makenzie Bayles

Assistant Professor of Psychology

2018 jennifer foster

Jennifer Foster

Instructor of English

2017 paul beezley

Dr. Paul Beezley

Associate Professor of History

2016 rodney bailey

Rodney Bailey

Instructor of English

2015 james rayburn

Dr. James Rayburn

Associate Professor of Biology

2014 david dempsey

Dr. David Dempsey

Associate Professor of Mathematics

2013 j kim

Dr. Jaedeok Kim

Professor of Mathematics

2012 gena christopher

Gena Christopher

Instructor of English

2011 nouredine

Dr. Nouredine Zettili

Professor of Physics

2010 linda cain

Linda Cain

Associate Professor of Library Services

2009 glaucio

Dr. Glaucio Scremin

Assistant Professor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation