The National History Center’s Founding Director, Professor Wm. Roger Louis, Kerr Chair of British History at the University of Texas at Austin, is the 2009 recipient of the Professor of the Year Award. The Senate of College Councils, the student governance organization that represents its 50,000 students at the University of Texas in academic affairs, grants the awards to faculty members nominated by UT students who have demonstrated outstanding teaching ability and a continuing dedication to students.
In the nomination letter, Pranav Merchant from the Liberal Arts Council praised Professor Louis because of his ability to engage his students “in the course material by using his wealth of knowledge to find topics that are important and that students will find interesting.”
“Ultimately,” Merchant continued, “Professor Louis cares about students and cares about his field of study, and he excels in teaching and has contributed immensely to British Studies. Because of all of this, he creates a unique academic and social experience that enriches everyone who comes into contact with him.”
In addition to recognizing excellence in teaching, the Senate of College Councils sought to select a professor committed to have a significant impact in the educational experience and possibly even affect the lives of his or her students. The award was the first of its kind, and it represented an effort by the student Senate to encourage the creation of an official award nominated directly from University of Texas students to recognize faculty.