Dr. Brian Sturm, an assistant professor at UNC at Chapel Hill's School of Information and Library Science (SILS), has been named the school's Outstanding Teacher of the Year for 2001-2002.
Sturm, a member of the SILS faculty since 1998, is the sixth professor at the school to win the annual award, funded by interest from the school's Bicentennial Teaching Award Endowment established in 1995. The award is based on nominations and class evaluations from students, and submissions from faculty members outlining their teaching philosophies. A $2,500 cash award accompanies the honor.
Dr. David Carr, last year's winner, presented the honor to Sturm at the school's annual spring commencement ceremony May 19. Carr discussed Sturm's teaching philosophy and read excerpts from students who nominated Sturm for the award.
Nominations described Sturm as a teacher who "does not allow (students) to settle for an easy answer" and who is "always pushing (students) to think in new ways." Other statements praised Sturm for his enthusiasm and for his readiness "to discuss career issues, to chat or to offer strategies for coping with stress and school."
After earning his bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary, Sturm received his master's and doctorate in library science from Indiana University. Sturm's areas of research interest include storytelling and folklore, children and technology, children's and young adults' literature, and bibliotherapy.
In late 2001, Sturm received $20,000 from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center to support his research into the effects of storytelling on MRI-related stress. Sturm also received the 2002 Storytelling World Award for The Storyteller's Sourcebook, 1983-1999: A Motif, Title, Subject and Geographic/Ethnic Index to Folklore Collections for Children, a book he co-authored with Margaret Read MacDonald.
Previous winners of the Outstanding Teaching Award at SILS are Dr. Stephanie Haas (1997), Dr. Jerry Saye (1998), Dr. Evelyn Daniel (1999), Dr. Barbara Wildemuth (2000) and Carr (2001).