Two Collat faculty have been selected to receive the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, which honors those who have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments in teaching. They will be recognized during the annual Faculty Convocation to be held 4 p.m. Sept. 19 in the UAB Alumni House.

The 2017 honorees include twelve faculty representing each school, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Honors College and the Joint Health Sciences departments.

DiGangi, PaulPaul Di Gangi

Collat School of Business

Associate Professor Paul Di Gangi, Ph.D., embodies excellence in teaching, according to nomination letters, because his philosophy is focused on creating an engaging classroom environment that encourages open discussion.

Di Gangi is passionate about making himself available to help his students — even beyond office hours — by appointment or via Canvas forums. A former student and teaching assistant for Di Gangi said the professor always treats his students with respect and understanding and is never negative in his comments regarding their work.

One of Di Gangi’s classes, a social media course taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, requires constant revising, says a colleague, and is an example of his work ethic and dedication to students. “Teaching this course is challenging,” they said. “Paul is adept at pulling current events relating to social media into the classroom.”

Robinson, JoshuaJoshua Robinson

The Honors College

Joshua Robinson, Ph.D., an assistant professor of economics in the Collat School of Business, was recently named an inaugural faculty fellow in the Honors College because of his dedication to mentorship and teaching. His lecture series offers an economic perspective on contemporary social issues such as gun-control legislation and minimum-wage laws.

Sometimes the study of economics spans some tedious material, such as discussion of supply and demand, but students say that Robinson even makes that subject matter interesting. “He always brought relevant information to relate to the material, which kept the class entertained and engaged,” says one recommendation letter.

He also is well-known for making time to interact with his students, despite his busy schedule. “The large piles of papers on his desk serve as a visual representation of how busy he is,” students said, “and yet he still makes time for his students to talk to him about whatever they need.”

See full list of UAB faculty honored for excellence in teaching