The University of New Mexico Center for Teaching & Learning, Honors College & Teaching Enhancement Committee, and College of Arts & Sciences held its 25th Annual Teaching Excellence Awards ceremony today at the Anderson School of Management’s Jackson Student Center.

These awards honor the excellence of faculty, lecturers, adjunct instructors, and graduate teaching assistants who have made exceptional strides in hard work, development, and UNM’s educational mission.

“We are here today to honor the most creative and committed faculty and leaders that we have on our campus...To recognize the best of our lobo educators,” said UNM President Garnett S. Stokes. “I am so grateful not only for your knowledge and your expertise but also for the compassion and creativity that you exhibit and your commitment to students, your colleagues and to the University of New Mexico... Every day you are changing lives and changing the world and I wanted to be here to celebrate the very best of the very best.”

A total of 16 faculty were recognized for their outstanding achievements. 

“I know each of you have rich family histories that make you who you are, your friends, your colleagues, your communities, and that makes us strong, rich teachers," said Presidential Teaching Fellow of the Year, Leola Tsinnajinnie Paquin, whose family has influenced her teaching style. "That's the basics for my teaching philosophy and how I build relationships with students... nourishing their passions is what makes their educational experience strong. Thank you to my colleagues and my students, you are the reason I am here.”

“I didn’t become a teacher by chance or to be part of an academic program, I chose to be a teacher,” said Erik Pineda, one of the Outstanding Teaching Assistants of the Year.

“Erik’s teaching style means that he is a vocal advocate for self-empowerment,” said one student.

All awardees were praised by colleagues and students alike for their unwavering dedication and passion, which shines through their teaching and enriches the lives of those around them. 

Congratulations to all of the awardees for their outstanding achievements in teaching excellence.

Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence Award Winners

Presidential Teaching Fellow              
Leola Tsinnajinnie Paquin, associate professor, College of Arts and Sciences

Outstanding Teacher of the Year
Eli Wilson, assistant professor, College of Arts and Sciences

Lecturer of the Year                                                       
Irina Meier, senior lecturer III, College of Arts and Sciences

Affiliated Teacher of the Year                              
Maria DeBlassie, adjunct Humanities faculty, UNM Honors College

Online Teacher of the Year                                      
Cristina Reiser, senior lecturer III, College of Arts and Sciences

Branch Campus Tenure-Track Teacher of the Year
Tammi Duncan-Teller, Assistant Professor of Biology, Valencia Branch Campus

Early Career Teacher of the Year                       
Nahir I. Otaño Gracia, assistant professor, College of Arts and Sciences

Susan Dees-Roberts Outstanding Teaching Assistants of the Year

College of Arts & Sciences Teaching Excellence Award Winners