2021 UPUTE Recipients

Erukhimova, Meer, and Woodward each receive a University Professorship for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award

Three members of the Texas A&M faculty were honored with the University Professorships for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence (UPUTE). The award is conferred upon the most distinguished instructors of undergraduate students at Texas A&M University.  These professors are not only exceptional classroom teachers, but also are innovators in pedagogy, exploring new teaching methods, and seeking engagement with other educators in pursuit of excellence.  

University Professorships for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence carry a three-year stipend and a bursary to support teaching and expand opportunities for professional development. Faculty members who are selected for these professorships are expected to be actively involved in faculty development programs for teaching for the duration of their award. 

The 2021 recipients of the University Professorships for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence are:

Tatiana Erukhimova

Tatiana Erukhimova
Eppright Professorship in Undergraduate Teaching Excellence
Department of Physics and Astronomy 
College of Science

Dr. Tatiana Erukhimova received her Ph.D. in Physics from the
Russian Academy of Sciences in 1999 and joined Texas A&M
University in 2001. In the classroom, Erukhimova is known for
making sure no student is left behind, by starting each class
discussing what the students do know.  Erukhimova organizes
annual Physics & Engineering Festivals attended by thousands
of visitors. She also developed the Physics Show and has
presented it to 28,000 people since 2007. In 2012, she started
the innovative program “Discover, Explorer, and Enjoy Physics
& Engineering,” which engages students in hands-on teamwork
and outreach activities. She is a co-organizer of the Mitchell
Institute Physics Enhancement Program, which includes annual
summer boarding schools for physics teachers from Texas high
schools. Her achievements include being a Presidential Professor
for Teaching Excellence, Distinguished Achievement Award 
recipient, and a Fish Camp Namesake. 

Jonathan Meer

Jonathan Meer
Eppright Professorship in Undergraduate Teaching Excellence
Department of Economics
College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Jonathan Meer received his Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford
University before joining Texas A&M in 2009. He spearheaded the
creation of an online version of principles of microeconomics that
reaches over 2,500 students a year. At the start of the pandemic,
he created a video guide to online teaching for large courses that
was utilized by faculty around the country. Meer’s achievements
include a Fish Camp Namesake and the Association of Former
Students College-Level Teaching Award. He has founded many
teaching innovations in the Department of Economics over the
last decade, including the Economics Undergraduate Research
Opportunities Program that integrates undergraduates intofaculty
research. He co-founded the Economics Workshop for High School
Counselors to promote Texas A&M at some of the largest feeder
high schools. Meer also co-founded the Hispanic Pre-Doctoral
Economics Pipeline Conference to create pathways for Hispanic
undergraduates to pursue graduate studies in economics. 

Robert Jay Woodward

Robert “Jay” Woodward
Thaman Professorship in Undergraduate Teaching Excellence
Department of Educational Psychology
College of Education and Human Development 

Dr. Robert “Jay” Woodward, Jr. has been a faculty member at Texas
A&M for the last 17 years. A three-time graduate of Texas A&M,
Woodward holds a B.A. in Psychology, an M.S. in Educational
Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology. He received the
first-ever Student Lead Award for Teaching Excellence and was
chosen as a namesake for Fish Camp and T-Camp. Woodward was 
an inaugural recipient of the Provost APT Teaching Excellence award.
He is a pioneer in expanding undergraduate education to campus
buildings, countries, and cohorts where it had not been previously.
 He was chosen to teach in the new 21st century classroom building 
because of his innovative approach. He redesigned his syllabi to
accommodate the needs of students in the AggieACHIEVE program,
and he has led study abroad in four different continents. He has been
 designated as a College of Education and Human Development
 Transforming Lives Faculty Fellow, Fish Camp Namesake, and is a
recipient of a Presidential Transformational Teaching Grant. 

The full list of University Professorships for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence is available for viewing here.