Psychology professor Kimberly Buch is the 2013 recipient of the highest teaching honor bestowed by UNC Charlotte, the Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence.
The announcement was made at a reception on Friday, Sept. 20, at Bank of America’s Founder’s Hall. Buch and the other finalists were honored during an evening ceremony and gala attended by UNC Charlotte faculty members and their guests.
“We have an incredible faculty at UNC Charlotte and the list of nominees for the Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence speaks volumes about our intellectual capital," said Chancellor Philip L. Dubois. "I congratulate all of the finalists this year for this most prestigious recognition.”
The other nominees were: Ted Amato, professor of economics; John David Smith, professor of history; Hui-Kuan “Alice” Tseng, associate professor of economics; and Mark West, a professor of English.
Buch, a faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, defines her teaching goals by her ability to become a “facilitator of learning” for her students. This philosophy has been a driving force of Buch’s research, teaching and service practices since joining UNC Charlotte in 1987.
“Kim has taught our students to be engaged learners and good citizens of their community,” said Fary Cachelin, chair of psychology. “She teaches students that learning is more than grades and assignments—that true learning is growing through life-changing experiences like studying abroad or impacting the lives of others and one’s community through service.”
As a teacher, advisor and mentor, Buch noted her goal is to facilitate the learning, growth and individual development of her students. “Our students’ learning and development should be the true measure of our success not our own engaging, entertaining or even enlightened teaching,” she said.
For Buch, this means providing quality classroom and out-of-class educational experiences, being sensitive and responsive to differences in learning styles, staying abreast of disciplinary developments and curricular innovation and being an approachable educator and advisor to students.
She has made significant contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning through numerous publications, and, starting this fall, Buch will serve a two-year term as a faculty fellow in UNC Charlotte’s Center for Teaching and Learning, where she will work with faculty interested in exploring innovative teaching and learning practices.
Equally significant to Buch’s teaching success is her commitment to engage students outside the classroom. Buch has served as chair of 70-plus graduate thesis committees, supervised more than 60 undergraduate research projects and managed internship placements for greater than 50 graduate and undergraduate students. Relationships developed with students have resulted in more than 40 jointly authored professional presentations and publications.
Well-known for engaging students in community issues and partnerships, Buch is the faculty advisor for Niner Neighbors, a student-led organization that provides temporary housing for the homeless. She also is actively involved with one of the University’s most visible campus-wide community service initiatives, Stop Hunger Now.