Psychology Professor Winner of Sears Helgoth Distinguished Teaching Award

Professor Woody, center, with Kathleen Sears and Jim Helgoth, donors of the distinguished teaching award.

Photo by Dan Rosplock

William Douglas Woody, UNC professor of Psychological Sciences, has been named winner of the Sears Helgoth Distinguished Teaching Award.

The new award for UNC faculty recognizes excellence in teaching as demonstrated through student evaluations, teaching philosophy, assessments, student outcomes, and innovative pedagogy. The award recognizes the commitment of the donors, Kathleen Sears and Jim Helgoth, to excellence in university-level teaching.

Woody, a member of the UNC faculty since 2002, teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in the general area of social psychology, including Psychology and the Law, Psychology of Prejudice and Social Psychology. As the recipient of this award, the university nominated Woody for the U.S. Professor of the Year Award sponsored by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Sears earned a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from UNC in 1976 and her father was a law school dean. She and Helgoth established the award to recognize the best professors and their impact on the student university experience and career success.

Woody last week served as the teaching convention coordinator at the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association convention in Salt Lake City, where he was able to observe one of his students deliver an excellent opening presentation.

"I'm most proud when my students succeed," Woody said. "The opportunities to affect students and to reach other teachers and their students, and in turn the future of our discipline and our larger community, are most important to me as a teacher."