In May 2023, the Connecticut Board of Regents (BOR) named 15 Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) faculty members as recipients of the annual 2022-23 Board of Regents Faculty Awards, which recognize faculty for excellence in teaching or research. They are given to faculty members who have distinguished themselves as outstanding teachers or are doing exceptional research, scholarly, and/or creative work that informs what they do in the classroom. In particular, the teaching awards recognize faculty who have distinguished themselves as outstanding teachers for at least five years and have a minimum of two years’ track record of promoting instructional improvements for their programs/departments.
Board of Regents Teaching Awards are presented to faculty from each of the four state universities, Charter Oak, and the 12 community colleges (which, as of July 1, became CT State Community College). System-wide awards are selected from institutional awardees. Two System-Wide Adjunct Faculty Teaching Awards are given to recognize part-time faculty throughout the CSCU system who have distinguished themselves as outstanding teachers.
For 2022-23, Renee Harlow, adjunct instructor of English, is one of two recipients of the System-wide Board of Regents Adjunct Teaching Award.
Most recently, Harlow has served on the Southern faculty since 2019 and teaches courses in the Honors College and First-Year Experience program. She earlier taught at Southern for several years in the 1990s and early 2000s, when she taught creative writing and literature courses, advised Honors theses, and served as assistant director of the Honors College. She has also contributed to curriculum development, particularly in the Honors College.
Harlow was nominated for the teaching award by English Professor Michael Shea, who wrote that Harlow “possesses both a passion for and a commitment to excellent teaching and she consistently succeeds at getting students to learn more than they think they can in her courses.” Other letters of support described Harlow as “a master teacher,” “dynamic, effective, caring, and innovative,” and “gifted and charismatic.”
Harlow describes herself as driven by curiosity, and she says that her students describe her as “a teacher with high expectations who is also fair and concerned about their needs as people.” She wrote that her “goals as a teacher are to open students up to their own curiosity, sense of discovery, and capacity for growth. Each student has a different starting point, which I think is important to acknowledge whether I’m teaching writing, literature, INQ, or anything else. I believe that all students can develop greater abilities from wherever it is that they began.”
“CSCU faculty go above and beyond to serve our students,” CSCU President Terrence Cheng said. “Our colleges and universities are better places to learn because of their work, and I congratulate each recipient on this well-deserved recognition.”