UNC-Chapel Hill awards Associate Professor Spencer Barnes the 2019 Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

UNC Chapel-Hill has awarded UNC School of Media and Journalism Associate Professor Spencer Barnes a 2019 Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. The three other 2019 Tanner Award recipients are from the School of Nursing, the psychology and neuroscience department, and the chemistry department. Ten MJ-school faculty members have won the Tanner Awards between 1999 and 2016, including Penny Abernathy, Chad Stevens and Terri Bailey.

"Spencer continues a great tradition in the School of Media and Journalism where teaching is one of our highest priorities," said Susan King, dean of the MJ-school. "He joins a long list of MJ-school professors who have won the Tanner Award, underlining that we invest in our students, and they recognize it."

Barnes' classes focus on visual design and explanation. He teaches "MEJO 182: Foundations of Graphic Design," "MEJO 585: 3D Design Studio" and "MEJO 704: Statistics for Social Science Research." His research concentrates on the synthesis of cognitive psychology, information design and visualization with respect to data journalism and journalism education.

“I was very excited to win the Tanner Award for Excellence in Teaching," Barnes said. "It reflects all the hard work and dedication that both I and my students put into our shared learning endeavor. By no means was this the single effort on my part; it was an effort on all parties involved. I’m appreciative of not only the award, I’m appreciative of my students just as much."

Barnes will receive a $7,500 prize for his achievement. In total, 24 faculty members earned 2019 University Teaching Awards. Other awards include Distinguished Teaching Awards for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction and the Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement.

All recipients will be recognized on Tuesday, Feb. 26, during the half-time ceremony at the UNC-Syracuse men’s basketball game in the Dean E. Smith Center. An awards banquet will also be held on Monday, April 8, at the Rizzo Center.