Western Carolina University

WESTERN'S SCOTT PHILYAW NAMED                                                                                                       

Image: Scott Philyaw
Scott Philyaw

Scott Philyaw, associate professor of history at Western Carolina University, has been named one of the best teachers in the University of North Carolina system, earning praise from students and faculty colleagues for a collaborative teaching style that provides his students with real-world experience to supplement classroom learning.

Philyaw is among 16 recipients of the UNC Board of Governors Awards for Excellence in Teaching. The award will be presented at a recognition luncheon May 12 in Chapel Hill. Winners receive a commemorative bronze medallion and $7,500 cash prize.

A faculty member at Western since 1996, Philyaw teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in U.S. history, including Colonial America, the American West and the American Revolution.

“Scott emphasizes critical thinking and its constant companion, clear communication, in his courses,” WCU Chancellor John W. Bardo said. “He also makes his classes relevant by stressing the advantages of collaborative learning in the workplace, and he strives to give his students real-world experience. His students have produced publications for the National Park Service, and recently they prepared a case study of the Dillsboro Dam controversy for publication in the New York Times on-line college edition.”

In addition to his teaching duties, Philyaw was appointed earlier this year to serve as director of the Mountain Heritage Center, Western's regional museum that studies, documents and interprets the culture and history of Southern Appalachia. In accepting the appointment, he returns to lead a museum where he once worked as an intern while a WCU undergraduate history major.

After graduating from WCU in 1983, Philyaw went on to earn his master's degree in history from the College of William and Mary, and his doctorate in history from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. While at William and Mary, he worked at Colonial Williamsburg and at an archaeological site at Yorktown Battlefield. At UNC, he worked with the Southern Historical Collection.

Philyaw has served as scholar-in-residence at Old Salem's Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts and as an exhibit consultant with The Orchard at Altapass in McDowell County. Working with WCU students, he co-authored two pamphlets for the Blue Ridge Parkway, including “The Natural Diversity of Linville Falls,” which won the 2002 Excellence in Interpretation Award for Trail Guides from the National Park Service Cooperating Association.

Philyaw and the 15 other award recipients, representing an array of academic disciplines, were nominated by special committees on their home campuses and selected by the Board of Governors Committee on Personnel and Tenure. The awards will be presented by UNC President Erskine Bowles and Board of Governors Chairman J. Bradley Wilson of Cary.

Established by the Board of Governors in April 1994 to underscore the importance of teaching and to reward good teaching across the university, the awards are given annually to a tenured faculty member from each UNC campus. Winners must have taught at their present institutions at least seven years. No one may receive the award more than once.

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Last modified: Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Copyright 2006 by Western Carolina University