Outstanding Teachers 2023 - The University of Tulsa
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Outstanding Teachers 2023

Among the highest forms of recognition that The University of Tulsa can bestow upon a member of the faculty is the Outstanding Teacher Award. Initiated in 1980, it is limited to three faculty members per year – less than 1% of the resident faculty. The winners are nominated by students, and the selection is made by the elected Faculty Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate. Thus, the award represents recognition by both students and fellow faculty. The winners of this prestigious award will be honored at the 2023 commencement ceremony with a monetary award and a medallion. Past winners can be recognized by this medallion worn on a ribbon about the neck as part of their academic regalia.

Kimberly Adams, Senior Instructor of Mathematics


A member of the faculty in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences since 2013, Kimberly Adams has taught a generation of TU students in the calculus I and II sequence and contemporary mathematics. She also teaches an upper-level course that focuses on the teaching of mathematics to elementary and high school students. In addition, Adams has served the wider Tulsa community through the Tulsa Girls Math Circle, Tulsa Math Teachers’ Circle, GenCyber and Hurricane Mathfest. One of the goals of this work has been to cultivate interest in math and other STEM subjects among girls and young women.

Selected student comments

Like her fellow 2023 honorees, Adams is an innovative teacher, drawing on new techniques such as the “flipped classroom,” in which faculty record their lectures and use class time for discussion and interactive work. “The flipped classroom style … was actually very helpful,” one student noted. “I always came to class feeling like I understood what we were going to talk about, and having the explanation in video format allowed me to organize my notes in a way I could understand.” Other students praised Adams’ “passion for math and her drive” and noted her use of “real world examples during class to help everyone understand the concept.”

Benjamin Peters, Hazel Rogers Chair of Media Studies

Ben Peters

Ben Peters came to TU in 2011 from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he had been on a postdoctoral fellowship. During his TU career, Peters has established an international reputation as a historian of digital culture and theorist of new media. He currently serves as senior fellow at the Kate Hamberg Kollege’s Cultures of Research program. His first book, How Not to Network a Nation, received awards in computer history and Slavic studies and was a top 20 book selection by Nature magazine for 2016. Peters’ excellence as a teacher is a piece of his scholarship.

Selected student comments

A TU senior who nominated Peters for the award noted that the professor “went out of his way to encourage our thinking and growth as scholars” and that his feedback “always struck a balance between supporting our passion and what we were doing well, while also encouraging us to grow past our shortcomings.” Other students noted how Peters “creates a classroom atmosphere that is engaged, inspiring, creative and critical in thinking” and that he provides “multiple insights and views from around the world that helped my understanding of broader cyber topics.”

Mike Troilo, Chapman Chair and Professor of Marketing and International Business


Mike Troilo joined TU in 2007 from the University of Michigan. Since then, he has taught students from first-year undergraduates to candidates in the Collins College of Business’ graduate programs in a variety of contexts and locations. Troilo has led courses and seminars to students in China, Germany and Poland, and has also instructed TU students in a series of well-regarded study abroad courses, including courses on doing business in China and emerging markets, classes on the global financial crisis and technology and innovation in South Korea.

Selected student comments

One recent TU graduate wrote of Troilo, “I cannot thank you enough. If there were some kind of award for best adviser, I would nominate you a million times.” Another noted that Troilo’s classes, “expedited my learning and pushed me to think deeply about the business and social lessons to be learned from global issues.” His classroom style, which Troilo himself describes as within the Socratic tradition, was praised for the way that it made students feel valued, and for his engaging lecture style: “Dr. Troilo is a great instructor!”