The 2019 Rennie W. Brantz Award for Outstanding Teaching in First Year Seminar, was awarded to Lillian Nave, Senior Lecturer in First Year Seminar and recent winner of the UNC Board of Governors Appalachian State University School/College Excellence in Teaching Award. Nave received the Brantz Award April 16 during the University College and General Education’s Annual Awards Ceremony. Nave was surrounded by family, friends, and several students who traveled significant distances to celebrate her accomplishments.
Known for her innovative teaching style, Nave received numerous student nominations for the Brantz Award including one from Abigail Pepper, her former student in Art, Politics and Power class First Year Seminar Course. Pepper told the nominating committee that, "Professor Nave also allowed for students to create their own opinions without pushing one bias or another onto the topic of discussion which I find is not only uncommon but understandably difficult to do in the current political atmosphere that our country is facing. She taught us how to build an argument, how to find credible sources to back our hypotheses, and encouraged us to "color outside of the lines."
Matt Barnes, a former student in Arts4Peace, stated, "Lillian started the first day of class in an unusual way, by designating that it would be the most non-traditional classroom we would ever step foot in. She helped me have a new lens on life and direct me in a better direction; Lillian is without a doubt the best professor I have ever had, and one who I can call a good friend."
When ask what winning the Rennie W. Brantz Award means to her, Nave said, “The relationships I have been able to forge with my students have been the most gratifying part of my teaching career and it is such an honor to be awarded the Rennie W. Brantz Award because it is an award that recognizes the importance, as Professor Brantz did, of relationships in learning. Learning is an emotional endeavor as much as a cognitive one. It is such an honor to have been nominated by my students for the Brantz Award, and I feel so lucky to have the chance to learn along with my students and continue to call so many of them my friends.”
Nave, whose graduate degree is in Art History with a focus on Greek Art, served as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Art for seven years before being hired, in 2014, as a Lecturer in First Year Seminar, a division of University College.
Charles Smith, last year’s winner of the Brantz Award, pictured with Nave, presented her award.
By Terri Lockwood
About Appalachian State University
As the premier, public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.