Mikucki Awarded for Excellence in Teaching
Faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences were honored for their research, teaching, creative activities, outreach, and leadership in diversity at the college awards banquet Tuesday, February 28, 2023. Theresa Lee, Herbert Family Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and members of her cabinet hosted the annual event at the UT Conference Center.
Jill Mikucki, associate professor of microbiology, received the junior-level Excellence in Teaching award. Mikucki is a one of a few leading Antarctic microbiologists in the world and has been a lynchpin member of the interdisciplinary team exploring this difficult-to-access environment. She brings this remote region to the UT campus through her thoughtful and creative research laboratory and classroom instruction.
She helps students learn microbiology through the lens of exploration and discovery, engaging them in independent learning, and piquing their curiosity about real-world issues. She gives students insights into life on Earth and other planets through the development of novel and effective curriculum that promotes learning through storytelling.
In the past several years, she created a graduate level topics course on microbial justice that focuses on the intersection of microbiological research and environmental, social and racial justice, and an undergraduate course on astrobiology that, according to one student, is the “coolest, most thought-provoking course … at UT.”