Russell Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

The Russell Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching recognize excellence in undergraduate instruction by faculty members in their early academic careers. The awards were first presented in 1992 by the Richard B. Russell Foundation to honor Richard B. Russell, a distinguished Georgian and University alumnus who had a love for new knowledge and appreciation of our nation's youth.

Three (3) Russell Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching are presented each year. Awardees receive a $10,000 cash award from the Richard B. Russell Foundation. 

For a list of previous Russell Award recipients, please click here.

2023-2024 Recipients

Jill Anderson

Jill Anderson
Associate Professor in the Department of Genetics, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and the Odum School of Ecology

Richard Hall

Richard Hall
Associate Professor in the Odum School of Ecology and the Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine

Laura Zimmermann

Laura Zimmermann
Associate Professor in the Department of Economics, Terry College of Business, and the Department of International Affairs, School of Public and International Affairs



Eligibility for the award will be limited to tenure-track faculty engaged in undergraduate instruction who have been at the University a minimum of three years at the time of the actual award and who have been in a tenure track position for a total of no more than 10 years. That is, nominees must be in no later than their 10th tenure-track year totaled across all academic institutions served.

Past awardees are not eligible for nomination.


Each college may submit to the Office of Academic Affairs one nomination per year with the exceptions that the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences may forward six nominations per year and the colleges of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Business, and Education may each forward two nominations per year.

No more than one award will be made in a single year to faculty nominated from a single department.

The mechanism by which nominees are selected within colleges will be determined by the respective Deans, but the process must include a review by a designated faculty committee. In addition, any department wishing to make a nomination for consideration by the College should have its own internally designated committee to advise the Department Head in selection of the faculty member to be nominated.

At the completion of the college/school selection process, the Deans will submit one copy of each nominee's dossier to the Office of Academic Affairs. The dossier must include:

  1. A written statement prepared by the Department Head (or Deans when appropriate) addressing the nominee's teaching excellence
  2. The nominee's curriculum vitae 
  3. Supporting documentation that typically will include a summary of student classroom evaluations, supporting letters from colleagues and students, and other pertinent information
  4. A teaching philosophy/statement written by the candidate

When reviewing dossiers, the selection committee has found it helpful to have the following information presented within the items listed above:

  1. Context about disciplinary/department norms, benchmarks and/or standards – particularly within the nominating letter submitted by the candidate’s unit;
  2. A clear articulation of the candidate’s unique contribution to the undergraduate teaching mission of the department/college/University; and
  3. Evidence of effectiveness inside the classroom, and if applicable, outside the classroom.

The dossier must not exceed twenty-five (25) pages in its total length (that is, including all materials, exclusive of the cover page) with a typeface no smaller than 11 point font size. Dossiers exceeding this length shall not be considered. Pages, excluding the cover page, must be numbered. Each dossier should be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs as a single PDF file, via the school/college “course” site in eLC.


A committee composed of seven senior faculty members (serving two-year staggered terms) and two undergraduate students will review the nominations and send its recommendations to the Provost for final approval. The committee members will be chosen by the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost from nominations solicited from the Deans.

Submission of Nominations

Deans' Offices should submit one (1) copy of each nominee's dossier as a PDF through the school/college “course” site in eLC. The deadline is Wednesday, October 25, 2023.

For questions or assistance with the submission process, please contact Sherri Bennett in the Office of Academic Affairs at