Campus News

Honors recognizes faculty for contributions to college

Meg Amstutz, left, dean of the Morehead Honors College, recognized Hyangsoon Yi, Erin Towery and Michael Terns for their contributions to Honors education. (Photo by Wingate Downs)

Each year, the Morehead Honors College recognizes three faculty members who have made significant contributions to Honors education. During the annual Honors graduation banquet in April, Michael Terns and Hyangsoon Yi received the Lothar Tresp Outstanding Honors Professor Award, and Erin Towery received the J. Hatten Howard III Teaching Award.

Terns is a Regents’ Professor of biochemistry and molecular biology with adjunct appointments in microbiology and genetics, and Yi is a professor of comparative literature, both in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Towery is the KPMG-Atlanta Partners’ and Employees’ Professor in the J.M. Tull School of Accounting in the Terry College of Business.

“From mentorship in the lab to instruction oversees to lessons in the classroom, Dr. Terns, Dr. Yi and Dr. Towery are truly committed to our students, and it was our honor to recognize them,” said Meg Amstutz, dean of the Morehead Honors College.

The Lothar Tresp Outstanding Honors Professor Award is named in honor of Lothar Tresp, who was the Honors Program’s longest serving director and led the program from 1967 until he retired in 1994. The award, given to two senior faculty members, recognizes superior teaching and dedication to Honors students.

Michael Terns

Terns is widely regarded as one of the scientists who made foundational breakthroughs in CRISPR biology that led to new gene editing techniques and new possibilities for the treatments of genetic disease. He has mentored 90 undergraduate students in independent research, many in Honors. Terns also participated in the very first CURO Symposium in 2001, and, in 2018, he was awarded the CURO Research Mentoring Award.

Hyangsoon Yi

Yi’s research interests are in Buddhist aesthetics in literature and visual arts and the history of Buddhist nuns. Her groundbreaking study, Buddhist Nuns and Korean Literature, was recognized as the Outstanding Scholarly Book in 2009 by the National Academy of Sciences, Korea. Her edited volumes, The Life of the Buddha, and, Buddhism, Digital Technology and New Media in Korea, are scheduled to be published this year. Yi regularly works with Honors as a research mentor and with the Foundation Fellows program, serving on its selection committee and leading a trip to Vietnam this year.

The J. Hatten Howard III Teaching Award is named in memory of J. Hatten Howard, an associate professor in geology and a dedicated young faculty member teaching Honors courses. Following his untimely death in 1992, the J. Hatten Howard III Honors Teaching Award was established to recognize faculty members who exhibit special promise in teaching Honors courses early in their careers.

Erin Towery

Towery has taught both undergraduate and graduate accounting classes at UGA, and she especially enjoys teaching the introductory accounting course for Honors students. She is a Senior Teaching Fellow with the Center for Teaching and Learning and recently won the Terry Outstanding Teacher Award. Her research focuses on the interplay between tax and financial reporting incentives.