The University of Texas System Board of Regents has selected Iya Price, Assistant Professor of Teaching at the University of Texas at Arlington, for its Outstanding Teaching Award.
Price is one of 14 faculty members across all academic and healthcare institutions in the UT system to receive this special honor, which recognizes educators who best exemplify excellence, innovation and commitment to student success.
Price has taught Russian at UTAs Department of Modern Languages since 2016. As a kid growing up in Russia, Price said she pretended her toys were students and she was her teacher
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher,” she says. “It was my lifelong dream.”
In 2008, the UT System Board of Regents established the annual Outstanding Teaching Awards to recognize outstanding teaching and innovation. The program is among the largest in the United States, awarded for outstanding faculty achievement, with each recipient receiving a certificate, medal and $25,000 in recognition of their impact on students and their institutions. The Board of Regents has provided more than $20 million to more than 700 UT System Instructors since its inception.
“DR. Price is a deserving educator who has a reputation for being committed to the success of her students,” said UTA President Jennifer Cowley. “We are fortunate to have such an exceptional faculty at UTA, and Dr. Price embodies the quality education our students receive.”
Price, who has a PhD in Linguistics from UT Arlington, specializes in Russian, Russian linguistics, second language learning and educational administration. She is a co-sponsor of the UTA student organization Russian Culture Society and creates internship opportunities for her current and former students.
“When students speak Russian after just a few semesters, it gives me a warm feeling,” says Price. “I do everything I can with my classes to orient them towards careers that involve the Russian language, whether they are interested in international affairs or Russian literature. One of my passions is to motivate my former students, for example by inviting them to be guest speakers in my current courses.”
Price has over 20 years of teaching experience and has received three STARTALK grants for federal national security and a federal grant from the US Department of State. These scholarships aim to increase the number of US citizens learning, speaking, and teaching major foreign languages such as Russian, Chinese, and Arabic.
UTA’s Department of Modern Languages has a remarkable history of excellent teaching. Past winners of the department’s Outstanding Teaching Award include Alicia Rueda-Acedo, Associate Professor of Spanish in 2021 and Amy Austin, Associate Professor of Teaching in 2019.
“UTA’s Department of Modern Languages has an amazing history of teaching awards,” Price said. “We have this atmosphere where we support each other in the department. I feel like this is a celebration for all of us.”
Winners like Price are selected based on thorough assessments that focus on candidates’ teaching proficiency, curriculum quality, innovative course development and student learning outcomes.
“The UT System Board of Regents is honored to annually recognize top educators for their exceptional dedication to the students they train to be our future leaders,” said Kevin P. Eltife, Chair of the Board of Regents.
“Excellence in teaching is central to our mission and helps ensure students graduating from UT institutions are prepared to thrive in an always-competitive and dynamic workforce,” said Chancellor James B. Milliken. “The UT Presidents and I express our deepest gratitude to the Board of Regents for their continued support in honoring exceptional teachers.”