Communications professor honored with national Teachers on Teaching Distinction

Friday, November 13, 2015 - 21:39

DENTON (UNT), Texas – Karen Anderson-Lain, a senior lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Texas, has been named as a Teachers on Teaching honoree by the National Communication Association.

Anderson-Lain will receive her award Nov. 20 during the group's annual convention in Las Vegas, NV. The Teachers on Teaching series honors exceptional communication professors from across the United States. This includes instructors that have enriched student lives, helped students to expand their intellect, and encouraged students to embrace new opportunities. She is one of six educators receiving the accolade.

"It is wonderful to receive national recognition," said Anderson-Lain. "The nomination is highly competitive. I feel very honored to have been selected especially when you look at the other honorees."

Anderson-Lain gets excited about her work as it allows her to impact new professionals and future professors as they prepare to leave their mark on the world. The acclaim is even more special because her nomination came directly from a group of current and former students. Norma Jones, a UNT communication studies alumna, one of the former students who nominated Anderson-Lain noted that professors are constantly writing recommendations and singing the praises of their students, but it is very rare that those same students can highlight their professors for their excellence.

"Karen is extremely student centered," Jones said.  "It is in her nature to help her students, both in and outside of her classrooms. As one of her students, I have benefitted from her teachings. This NCA teaching honor is well-deserved and for me, it is a privilege to be part of her nomination."

Jones, along with Garrett Castleberry, Joshua Brandon, and Kyle Hammonds, will be part of a panel discussion at the National Communication Association annual convention to discuss how Anderson-Lain's teaching impacted their lives. Afterward, Anderson-Lain will present her teaching philosophy and discuss the importance of mentoring future faculty.

As Anderson-Lain noted, "Training new teachers how to connect with their students is crucial to developing a classroom climate that fosters the development of critical thinking and communication skills for our students".

The National Association of Colleges and Employers annual job outlook consistently ranks verbal and written communication as well as teamwork and problem solving  in the top 5 skills employers want prospective employees possess, Anderson-Lain pointed out.
She has taught in the Department of Communication Studies at UNT for a decade. She also serves as coordinator for teaching assistant training and program and core curriculum assessment for the communication studies department.

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