Dr. Laura Kuti named distinguished educator award recipient at University Colloquy

August 19, 2021

Dr. Laura Kuti, assistant chair of Teacher Education and assistant professor of education in the School of Professional & Continuing Studies (SPCS), was named a 2021 recipient of the University’s Distinguished Educator Award at the annual Colloquy celebration held August 18.

The criterion for selecting recipients of the Distinguished Educator Award is distinction through leadership in teaching and learning, with special attention given to effective integration of teaching and scholarship along with signficant research and/or creative activity with students.

SPCS dean Jamelle Wilson announced Kuti’s nomination by the SPCS Review Panel in a letter highlighting the breadth, depth, and commitment of Kuti’s teaching efforts. Her nomination includes feedback from student evaluations, alumni testimonials, and colleague support. The following excerpt from Dean Wilson’s nomination letter reflects Kuti’s “distinction through leadership in teaching and learning.”

Kuti’s response to the challenges of teaching, program administration, and accreditation requirements contribute to her selection for this award. SPCS faculty teach a full-load of at least five courses each year in addition to teaching overages when necessary to support the mission of the school and programs. By teaching across multiple programs, Kuti’s skill benefits a wide variety of students.

In addition to teaching, research and service, SPCS faculty also carry administrative loads. Most of these loads are considerable because of the demands of recruitment, admissions, advising, responsibility for program curriculum, oversight of adjunct faculty and scheduling of courses for the fall, spring and summer terms.

Graduate Education faculty in SPCS also have to make sure programs are approved by VDOE and accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation programs (CAEP). This administration requires time, dedication, organization, motivation, knowledge, flexibility, care, and leadership. Kuti does all of this program administration and leadership while serving as an active and engaged faculty member.

Kuti has served on the SPCS faculty since 2016. She brings expertise in English language learning to her position as chair and to her classes. Since students who are non-native English speakers are the fastest growing population in public schools, Kuti’s expertise shared in teacher education classes is invaluable to prospective and current educators who turn to the University of Richmond for their training and development needs.

The Distinguished Educator Awards have been honoring excellence in teaching at the University of Richmond since 1975 when the Cabell Foundation made a grant to the University to be used to attract and retain outstanding faculty and promote excellence in teaching. 

Colloquy is the University's annual event to mark the official beginning of the academic year. Faculty and staff are invited to this celebratory occasion marked by speakers, recognition of the Distinguished Educator Award recipients, Distinguished Scholarship Award recipients, introductions of new tenured and tenure-track faculty and installation of newly appointed endowed position holders.