Our Award Winning Faculty

The Rennie W. Brantz Award for Outstanding Teaching in the First Year Seminar

The Rennie W. Brantz Award for Outstanding Teaching in the First Year Seminar honors a First Year Seminar instructor who demonstrates exemplary teaching and has made an impact on student lives in the First Year Seminar classroom.

Examples of Outstanding Teaching in FYS may include:

  • Enthusiasm in the classroom.
  • Evidence of innovation in pedagogy
  • Creation of a safe and open space in the classroom where students are free to take intellectual risks and form meaningful relationships.
  • Demonstrated competence and expertise in the subject matter of the course.
  • Connection of learning in the classroom to the life of the broader community.

Eligible candidates: any faculty member who taught UCO 1200, HON 1515, or WGC 1103 in the previous calendar year. In order to nominate a colleague, please send the nominee's name, e-mail address, and a brief statement of the reasons for your nomination to UC Awards.

2021 Brantz Award Recipient

Juan Mendizabal

Juan Mendizabal is the Assistant Director for Leadership Education and Development in the Department of Student Engagement and Leadership. As a leadership educator, Juan is interested in the ways that leadership complexities, identity, and social justice intersect with one another. Juan regularly teaches courses in the Leadership Studies minor, including Leadership for Social Change, an elective course that utilizes dialogue and mindfulness as grounding frameworks. He earned a Bachelor of Science in English Education from Florida State University and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida while also spending time at Duke University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Rollins College. Juan has served in the non-profit sector developing domestic and international youth leadership programs and currently serves as a Co-Lead Facilitator for LeaderShape, Inc.

Previous Brantz Award Recipients

  • Adrian Rice 2020
  • Lillian Nave 2019
  • Chuck Smith 2018
  • Nick Rudisill 2017
  • Skip Rackmill 2016
  • Rebecca Keeter 2015
  • Trent Margrif 2014
  • Bud Gerber 2013
  • Michael Behrent 2012
  • Jim Street 2011
  • Elaine Gray 2010
  • Jeff Goodman 2009
  • Nick Rudisill 2008
  • Beth Marsh 2007
  • Debbie Marshall 2006
  • Debbie Poulos 2005