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University presents 2023 Teaching Excellence and Leadership Award

Dr. Wesley McMasters (center) receives congratulations from Carson-Newman University Provost Jeremy J. Buckner (left) and University President Charles A. Fowler following the institution’s Fall Convocation. McMasters was named recipient of C-N’s 2023 Teaching Excellence and Leadership Award during the event.

Carson-Newman University honored Dr. Wesley McMasters with its 2023 Teaching Excellence and Leadership Award. The recognition came during the University’s Fall Convocation on Aug. 22.

McMasters, who serves as assistant professor of English, joined Carson-Newman’s faculty in 2018. He also serves as director for C-N’s Appalachian Cultural Center, a role he has held since 2022.

He received his undergraduate degree from Penn State DuBois before earning his Master of Arts Degree from the University of Maine. He received his doctoral degree in literature and criticism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Before joining the C-N faculty ranks, McMasters taught at Penn State DuBois, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

A widely published poet, he is touted as one of the top young Edgar Allan Poe scholars. He is the literary editor for “The Red Branch Review,” a literary and visual art annual based in southern Appalachia, as well as editor for Red Flag Poetry, a publisher of poetry utilizing various mediums.

He is championed for his ability to engage students, make lectures fun, and for his dedication to those he teaches. “Students gravitate toward him because of his authenticity and enthusiasm,” said C-N colleague Dr. Noah Soltau, “and he channels that admiration and respect into quality academic contributions from his English majors and honors students.”

Presented to non-tenured faculty members since 1990, the Teaching Excellence and Leadership Award honors one who demonstrates creative and effective instruction and noteworthy leadership contributions to the overall academic program. Considered an indicator of future promise, the honor recognizes exceptional ability and positive student feedback.

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