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The Dorothy Smith Golden Award for Teaching Excellence


Dorothy Smith Golden, Georgia Southern University Assistant Professor Emerita

About The Dorothy Smith Golden Award for Teaching Excellence

Honoring the memory of Dorothy Smith Golden, the Golden Award for Teaching Excellence annually recognizes an excellent teacher whose practices are informed by research and scholarship in the subject and discipline. The $1000 award is not only to recognize consistently superior performance but also to reward continuous and measurable improvement as a teacher.

The recipient will be a full-time member of the Department of Writing and Linguistics who supports the Department’s mission and goals, shows sensitivity to and concern with each student’s level and learning progress, and integrates the idea that learning is a complex process entailing not only knowledge but also application of that knowledge. Faculty are expected to demonstrate the following:

  • Knowledge of the subject and discipline;
  • Course preparation and organization;
  • Clarity and understandability;
  • Enthusiasm for subject and teaching;
  • Sensitivity to and concern with students’ level and learning progress;
  • Availability and helpfulness;
  • Quality of assignments and examinations;
  • Impartiality in evaluating students;
  • Overall fairness to students;
  • Methods informed by research and scholarship in the subject and discipline;
  • Involvement in the scholarship of teaching

The Dean of College of Arts and Humanities, the Chair of Writing and Linguistics Department, the Director of Center for Excellence in Teaching or nearest equivalent thereof, at least one at-large member to be selected by the Chair of the Writing and Linguistics Department, and a representative from the Georgia Southern University Foundation will select the recipient(s) of the Award annually.


All full-time faculty (limited-term, non-tenure track, tenure-track, and tenured) completing or having completed at least three consecutive years of service in the Department of Writing and Linguistics at the time of their application. Recipients of the award will be ineligible for three years following their selection.


Submit a single PDF of no more than 15 pages to Pat Byrd by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. All submissions must be received electronically. The winner will be notified and recognized at the August 2019 Department of Writing & Linguistics meeting.


The Awards Committee uses multiple forms of assessment in making its decision. While no one is expected to submit documentation for every item from this list, applicants should refer to these items in selecting materials for the Awards Committee to review but may submit no more than fifteen pages of documentation.

The following categories are not requirements, but suggestions for faculty to consider as they prepare their materials:

From students:

1. Assessment of teaching skills
2. Meaningful assignments
3. Teacher-student interactions
4. Treatment of students

From the faculty member:

1. Statement of teaching philosophy
2. Self-appraisal: a self-reflective letter analyzing both strengths and weaknesses, the practices that worked and the ones that
did not work, in one’s own pedagogy
3. Self-appraisal as a faculty member with added academic responsibilities
4. Illustrative course materials
5. Evidence of student learning
6. Evidence of professional accomplishment
7. Student advisement
8. Committee memberships
9. Relevant service to the academic community (other than committees)
10. Relevant service to the non-academic community
11. Professional recognition

From faculty peers:

1. Peer observation(s)
2. The value of teaching materials (assignments, handouts, tests, papers)
3. Interest in and concern for teaching
4. Mastery and currency of subject matter
5. Original research that strengthens teaching
6. Professional recognition
7. Participation in the academic community
8. Service to the non-academic community

From the chair:

1. An appraisal of the faculty’s workload and other responsibilities
2. Student course enrollment
3. Efforts to improve teaching
4. Relevant service to the institution

Last updated: 1/11/2021