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Mike Downer Named to Prestigious Academy of Distinguished Teachers

Mike Downer Named to Prestigious Academy of Distinguished Teachers
Physicist is one of seven faculty members recognized for sustained and significant contributions to education, particularly at the undergraduate level.

 

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AUSTIN, Texas — Physicist Mike Downer is one of seven faculty members newly named to the prestigious Academy of Distinguished Teachers at The University of Texas at Austin.

The seven new academy members were announced by Steve Leslie, executive vice president and provost, on June 6.

Leslie said the academy is designed to recognize tenured faculty members who have made sustained and significant contributions to education, particularly at the undergraduate level. With this year's selections the academy has 126 members.

Downer is an experimental physicist who is developing a new type of tabletop, laser-driven particle accelerator that may dramatically lower the cost of some forms of cancer treatment.

Downer, who received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1983, is a College of Natural Sciences Distinguished Professor. He joined the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin in 1985. He is a fellow of the American Physics Society, recipient of the 2002 Dad’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award and recipient of the 2001 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award.

For a list of all College of Natural Sciences faculty that are members of the academy, visit our teaching awards page.

Members of the academy receive a permanent academic salary increase of $7,000 and are designated as a Distinguished Teaching Professor. Leslie said individuals are selected from the Academy of Distinguished Teachers to serve on an advisory group to the provost on teaching excellence. They also provide institutional leadership and guidance for the distinctive undergraduate experience available in the university's research environment.

Established in February 1995, the Academy of Distinguished Teachers was one of the first associations of its kind in the nation. New members of the academy are selected each year through a rigorous evaluation process. Deans of colleges and schools annually nominate faculty for membership, and a committee that includes members of the academy, students and other faculty review the nominations and recommend a slate of honorees to the provost, who makes the selections.

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