TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The University of Texas at Tyler is home to two professors recognized as the best educators within the UT system alongside 12 others.

Dr. Joshua Banta and Dr. Kenneth Bryant Jr. both earned the 2023 UT System regents Outstanding Teaching Award and will each receive $25,000. The award recognizes their exceptional classroom performance and commitment to student success.

According to UT Tyler, all nominees go through a series of evaluations by peer faculty and consider a range of criteria including classroom expertise and student learning outcomes.

“UT faculty members guide our students’ success and prepare Texas’ future leaders, job creators and innovators,” said UT Board of Regents Chairman Kevin Eltife. “The Board of Regents is proud to recognize their excellence through the Regents Outstanding Teaching Awards program.”

Banta joined UT Tyler in 2011 as an associate professor in biology. He has been instrumental in aiding student researchers as an adviser in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Summer Research Academy that provides research opportunities for underrepresented populations.

Banta also directs the university’s Center for Environment, Biodiversity and Conservation. He is an integrative biologist focusing on conservation species. His research and and teaching has focused on “evolutionary genetics, plant biology, landscape ecology and geographic information systems.”

Bryant, an associate professor of political science joined UT Tyler in 2017. His research has focused on re-examining conventional thought about historically marginalized communities. He has researched on their behavior, attitudes and development.

Bryant also help develop the UT Tyler Center for Opinion Research.

He has co-authored “Game of Politics: Conflict, Power and Representation” and “Battle for Hearts of Texas: Political Change in the Electorate.”

Both professors will be recognized in Austin on Nov. 16 at the Board of Regents quarterly board meeting, along with the other recipients:

  • Nehal Abu-Lail, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering, UT San Antonio
  • Paul Bonin-Rodriguez, Department of Theatre and Dance, UT Austin
  • Cherry Duke, Department of Music, UT El Paso
  • Sharron Forest, School of Nursing, UT Medical Branch
  • Nora Gimpel, Family and Community Medicine, UT Southwestern
  • Sonia Kania, Department of Modern Languages, UT Arlington
  • Bridgett Piernik-Yoder, Occupational Therapy, UT Health San Antonio
  • Robert D. Spears, Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences, UTHealth Houston
  • Christy Spivey, Department of Economics, UT Arlington
  • Melanie Sulistio, Internal Medicine, UT Southwestern
  • Jennifer L. Swails, Internal Medicine & Center for Interprofessional Education, UTHealth Houston
  • John Zweck, Department of Mathematical Sciences, UT Dallas

Each recipient will receive a medallion, a cash award of $25,000 and formal recognition by the Board of Regents.