The Center for Teaching Excellence

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Each year, we have the distinct honor to recognize deserving faculty across campus with teaching awards. For the 2019-2020 year, we are selecting faculty for two awards, The Golden Mustang Award and The Provost's Teaching Recognition Award. 


Each award carries a $1,000 stipend. The awards give us the opportunity to celebrate a commitment to teaching among our ranks. These awards reflect our collective commitment to excellence in teaching, which is core to our aspiration to become an even greater research and teaching university with global impact.


The Golden Mustangs, SMU alumni who graduated at least fifty years ago, have established an award for the advancement of teaching and learning. This award of $1000 is given each year to a junior, tenure-track faculty member, whose teaching is consistently excellent; whose courses reflect thoughtful curricular development; and whose scholarship makes a meaningful contribution to the discipline and to student learning.


2018 Recipient:

Brett StoryAssistant Professor Brett Story, Lyle School of Engineering

Professor Story joined the SMU faculty in 2013 as a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Lyle School of Engineering. Professor Story is involved in numerous programs and initiatives, including the Smart Infrastructure Innovation Initiative with Garland Independent School District. Dr. Story encourages student involvement and leadership in his work. When describing his Smart Infrastructure Innovation Initiative Project, Dr. Story explained, “We look to develop problem solvers: engineers, scientists, technicians, contractors, builders, manufacturers, and managers.” Dr. Story’s commitment to students, the Dallas community, and the pursuit of knowledge makes him this year’s recipient of the Golden Mustang Award.

For a list of previous recipients, click here.

The President's Associates Outstanding Faculty Award is given annually to tenured faculty for the advancement of teaching and learning. This award of $1000 is designed to honor faculty who have sustained high achievement as teachers and whose scholarship makes a meaningful contribution to student learning.

Fall 2019 Note: We are currently not accepting nominations for this award. Please check back for updates.

2018 Recipient: 

Dan Reynolds

Associate Professor Daniel Reynolds, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

This year’s President’s Associates Award to Professor Dan Reynolds. Professor Reynolds joined SMU in the Department of Mathematics in 2008 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014. Related to his teaching, Dr. Reynolds materials show high teaching evaluations, rigorous and demanding classes, and devotion towards student learning. His nominator stated, “Reynolds typically boasts the department's highest numerical evaluations and he is well known for devoting countless hours to meeting with students in his office.”

For a list of past recipients, click here.

The Provost’s Recognition Award honors full-time non-tenure-track faculty who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and a consummate dedication to teaching and learning. The non-tenure-track candidate must have taught credited courses full time for a minimum of 5 continuous years prior to his/her year of nomination. This award provides an opportunity to honor the contributions to teaching at SMU made by these important colleagues. The award carries a $1,000 stipend.


2018 Recipient:

Jennifer O'Brien, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

Professor O’Brien joined the Chemistry department in Dedman College in 2012. Her nominator noted “I never had the honor to work with someone of the caliber of Dr. O’Brien. She is outstanding in her role as teacher and departmental citizen. She goes far beyond the call of duty in both scope of topics she teaches and service to our students.” In her teaching philosophy, it becomes evident why Dr. O’Brien’s students respond so well to her teaching style. She describes her goals and mission of expanding knowledge through accessibility, and creating a positive and comfortable learning environment. Professor O’Brien explained, “As an educator, my goal is to make chemistry accessible to every student I teach.” Professor O’Brien demonstrates a dedication to teaching and learning and is an exemplary member of the SMU teaching community.

To see a list of prior winners of this award, click here.