2019-2020 Teaching Excellence Winners

2019-2020 Board of Governors Teaching in Excellence Award Winners

Dr. Jason MillerBoard of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award

Mr. D. Jason Miller
Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment
College of Fine and Applied Arts

 Mr. D. Jason Miller, AIA, NCARB, is an associate professor and Program Director of Building Science in the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment (STBE) at Appalachian State University. He is also a registered architect practicing collaboratively in the mountains of western North Carolina through his firm, David Jason Miller Architect PLLC. Mr. Miller joined the Appalachian faculty as a full-time lecturer in August 2009, accepted a position as an assistant professor in August 2012, and received promotion to the rank of associate professor and permanent tenure effective July 2017. He holds a B.A. in Art History and History from Washington and Lee University, and a M. Arch. from the North Carolina State University College of Design. During his career at Appalachian, Mr. Miller has taught or acted as the faculty supervisor for 16 different course preparations, including lecture-based courses on construction means and methods; project-based courses on architectural graphics and digital modeling; studio-based courses in architectural design; professional internship and construction safety courses; and individual graduate thesis projects. He has also taught 15 unique directed-study, selected topic, or short-term study abroad courses.


dr._holly_hirst_0.pngBoard of Governors Appalachian State University Excellence in Teaching Award

Dr. Holly Hirst
Department of Mathematical Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Holly Hirst is a Professor of Mathematics and Co-Director for the Math MA Program. She has served on the Mathematical Association of America's Committee on the Mathematical Education of Teachers (COMET) from 2009 through 2014, and on the Education Committees and as coordinator for the Mathematics Workshop sessions for Super Computing 2011 (SC11) and Super Computing 2010 (SC10). She has also served as regional coordinator for the Mathematical Association of America's Preparing Mathematicians to Educate Teachers (PMET) initiative and as co-PI on the NSF funded National Computational Science Institute and Shodor Computational Science Institute. She also helps with the Project Interactivate and other mathematics and computational science initiatives at The Shodor Education Foundation. She has served from 2005 through 2013 as the Associate Dean in the Cratis Williams Graduate School, during which time she was responsible for and supervised staff in graduate recruiting, admissions, assistantships, and records. In that capacity, she has served on many University committees and as secretary for the North Carolina Conference of Graduate Schools.


Dr. Timothy Smith

Appalachian State University Campus Teaching Excellence Award

Dr. Timothy J. Smith
Department of Anthropology
College of Arts and Sciences

 Dr. Timothy J. Smith is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology and has been an Appalachian faculty member since 2008. Given his training in both Anthropology and Latin American Studies, the themes of his research are varied and include a critical examination of community participation, linguistic revival and change, violence and conflict, development, human rights, citizenship and the state, environmental conservation, and grassroots indigenous politics in Latin America (Guatemala and Ecuador). His teaching deals with the cultural politics of representation and indigenous movements, cultural and political constructions of knowledge, language and culture, contemporary Latin America, identity formation, and the practical application of theory/knowledge. In addition to serving as the Department Chair, he is also the Honors Program Director and has previously served on numerous leadership committees throughout the University on which he advocated for the support of academics and ensuring that excellence in teaching, informed by research, remains the priority of Appalachian State. He is also a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Academy of Outstanding Teachers (2015) and the recipient of the William C. Strickland Outstanding Young Faculty (2012) and Jimmy Smith Outstanding Service (2018) awards. For more information on Dr. Smith’s research and teaching, please visit: https://anthro.appstate.edu/directory/dr-timothy-j-smith


Lillian Nave

Appalachian State University Campus Teaching Excellence Award

Ms. Lillian Nave
First-Year Seminar
University College

Lillian Nave teaches First Year Seminar in the General Education Program of University College. She began her tenure as a Faculty Fellow in July of 2014 and is particularly interested in creating an integrated experience for Appalachian students and faculty. Paying particular attention to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, she seeks to provide connections amongst faculty members and create an inviting and safe space for collaboration and creative approaches to teaching. Additionally, Lillian seeks out new and innovative teaching and learning strategies to share while working to connect students and faculty with the myriad resources available to them at Appalachian. For more information on Lillian's award, please visit: https://universitycollege.appstate.edu/awards/nc-bog-award


Dr. Alecia JacksonAppalachian State University Campus Teaching Excellence Award

Dr. Alecia Jackson
Department of Leadership and Educational Studies
College of Education

Dr. Alecia Jackson, Professor in the Department of Leadership and Educational Studies, has been awarded a Board of Governor’s Appalachian State University Teaching Excellence Award for the RCOE. Dr. Jackson joined the faculty in 2003. She teaches graduate-level research methods and critical/feminist theory courses to students who are pursuing master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees in various program areas, both within and outside the RCOE. Jackson has directly and closely mentored over 40 graduate students in doctoral dissertation and master’s thesis work; five doctoral students she has taught and/or mentored have won the Naylor Award for Outstanding Dissertation. Because she primarily teaches critical theories and research methodologies to graduate students who are also practitioners, Jackson's goal for students is to leave her classes with the skills to conduct a critical social inquiry in their classrooms, schools, and communities. Students emerge from her courses with shifts in their thinking about socio-cultural problems, and they take on the very hard work of deconstructing normalizing practices so that they can “talk back” to common-sense ideologies that infuse educational spaces and that further disenfranchise marginalized people. In addition to the BOG teaching excellence award, Jackson is the winner of the 2019 100 Scholars Research Award (Cratis D. Williams Graduate School) and the 2019 Outstanding Mentoring Award (Reich College of Education).  For more information on Dr. Jackson's award, please visit: https://rcoe.appstate.edu/news/board-governors-appalachian-state-university-schoolcollege-award-recipients-alecia-jackson-and

Appalachian State University Campus Teaching Excellence Award

Dr. Peter Nelsen
Department of Leadership and Educational Studies
College of Education

Dr. Peter Nelsen, an Associate Professor in the Department of Leadership and Educational Studies, has been awarded a Board of Governor’s Appalachian State University Teaching Excellence Award for the Reich College of Education (RCOE). Nelsen joined the RCOE faculty in 2007. A former high school English teacher and adventure educator who led wilderness expeditions and taught outdoor education skills, he earned a doctorate in philosophy of education with a focus on understanding issues of social justice through the lens of pragmatism. At Appalachian, he primarily teaches courses on issues of social justice and public schooling. He grounds his teaching and research in the philosophy and practice of nonviolence, social justice, and democratic education. He also co-edits the interdisciplinary academic journal, Democracy & Education. For more information on Dr. Nelsen's award, please visit: https://rcoe.appstate.edu/news/board-governors-appalachian-state-university-schoolcollege-award-recipients-alecia-jackson-and


Ken BrackneyAppalachian State University Campus Teaching Excellence Award

Dr. Kennard Brackney
Department of Accounting
College of Business

Dr. Ken Brackney is a Full Professor of Accounting at Appalachian State University. His research has been published in Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, Issues in Accounting Education, The CPA Journal and others. Dr. Brackney is a past recipient of the N.C. Association of Certified Public Accountants Outstanding Educator Award. He is a member of the American Accounting Association and the North Carolina Association of CPAs. Away from work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and their two sons.