Dr. Joanie Sompayrac’s impact on students is “beyond extraordinary” and Dr. Matthew Guy is able to take “abstruse concepts and make them understandable” for his students. Both were selected for the University of Tennessee Alumni Association (UTAA) Outstanding Teaching Award.
Sompayrac is UC Foundation Professor of Accounting and Guy is Associate Professor of English.
In one of several letters of nomination for Sompayrac, one student called her “a professor, teacher, mentor, trusted advisor, coach, encourager, and cheerleader.” Beyond the classroom, the student explained that Sompayrac serves as a faculty mentor in MoSAIC, a multifaceted and comprehensive program developed to support the holistic needs of UTC students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
He added that Sompayrac also serves as assistant director of the Brock Scholars Program, “where she mentors and works with high performing students…I don’t know how she does it all.”
In Dr. Bryan Hampton’s letter of nomination, he said students agree—Guy has a way of explaining the material so they can understand. Hampton, Kennedy Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor in the Department of English and Coordinator of Humanities, quoted one of Guy’s students who said he “‘completely opened my eyes’ to wider issues in culture beyond literature, that she benefitted from the ‘sheer difficulty’ of the texts, and that she gained more from this class than any other in her career as an English major.”
Many students say they love how animated Guy becomes when he reads portions of text out loud. Hampton said students also respond to Guy’s “wide range of expertise outside of academe, including having been in a band, mig-welding, and his certification to work on dragster engines.”
Sompayrac and Guy each received a monetary award and a certificate from UTAA.