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Stephanie Jeffries Receives 2024 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

Stephanie Jeffries is the recipient of the 2024 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Jeffries, an associate teaching professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources in the College of Natural Resources, is known as an enthusiastic and highly engaging instructor with a strong dedication to innovative and inclusive pedagogy, high-quality undergraduate education, and the success of the whole student.

“We are fortunate at NC State to have so many outstanding teachers who provide a world-class education to our students,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Warwick Arden. “Dr. Jeffries is the consummate faculty member and sets an example for her colleagues and peers in higher education to follow.”

Dr. Stephanie Jeffries

The Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching is the most prestigious award given to professional full-time faculty from NC State’s 10 colleges and the University College. The award was established in 2021 to underscore the importance of teaching and to encourage, identify, recognize, reward and support teaching within the university.

Jeffries and the college nominees were honored at the University Teaching Awards Luncheon and Ceremony on April 11, and Jeffries will be recognized at the Celebration of Faculty Excellence and in the spring 2024 commencement program.

In a letter of support for Jeffries’ award nomination, Sam Blumenfeld, a master’s student in natural resources, wrote, “The impact Dr. Jeffries has on students is obvious. All students in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources are given an analytical boost from the well-crafted Environmental First Year Program she created, and around half the students in the department interact with her while enrolled in dendrology. The praise given to Dr. Jeffries does not come just from these many students who gain so much from her, it also comes from her colleagues. Dr. Jeffries is a household name in environmental academic circles throughout the state, which is a testament to her success as an educator, communicator and genuine person.”

Jeffries’ teaching philosophy focuses on engaging students in challenging, service-oriented, hands-on learning, and impacting their learning beyond the classroom. She accomplishes her goals through campus and professional leadership, creative and fearless innovation, personal mentoring, and a commitment to inclusive student learning in her many courses.

Beginning from her postdoctoral teaching fellowship with the Thompson Writing Program at Duke University, which centered on the pedagogy of academic writing within her discipline

of forest ecology, to her current appointment as an associate teaching professor, teaching is the centerpiece of Jeffries’ career. In addition to the university classroom, she has taught students ages 5-70 in public programs, museum settings, school programs, botanical gardens, at field stations, and most recently, on YouTube. At NC State alone, she has taught more than 2,600 students.

A faculty member at NC State since 2011, Jeffries is a recipient of the Gertrude Cox Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Award and the College of Natural Resources Outstanding Teaching Award.