Caroline Frick wins Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award
While any student who has ever sat in Assistant Professor Caroline Frick’s classroom knows the true value of her instruction, it is now official: The University of Texas System Board of Regents has bestowed her with its highest honor, a Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award.
Frick, a film archivist who teaches various RTF courses on media history and cross-cultural approaches to historical moving image preservation, is among a very select group of faculty from across the 15 UT System institutions to win the highly competitive award. As a result of a rigorous evaluation process (by students, peer faculty, and external reviewers), the Board of Regents grants these awards annually to those who have demonstrated “extraordinary classroom performance and innovation in undergraduate instruction.” Coupled with the recognition is a monetary gift of $25,000.
Former Department Chair and current Director of Media Studies, Professor Tom Schatz, attributes Frick’s teaching prowess in part to the “remarkable range of professional experience and academic expertise” she brings. “Professor Frick has established herself as one of the top teachers, scholars, and mentors in the Radio-Television-Film (RTF) Department. Indeed, her impact on our program as a teacher extends well beyond her excellent work in the classroom…”
Outside of the classroom, Frick founded in 2002 and has since been the Director of the Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI), which aims to “to discover, preserve, provide access to, and educate the community about Texas’ film heritage.” (www.texasarchive.org) She personally secured recurring state funding for the organization, and has been working ever since to accumulate, digitally archive and stream films of all sorts made by, for, and about Texans. What’s more, TAMI has been a major resource for RTF students.
“Caroline has actively engaged dozens of RTF students at all levels—undergraduates as well as MA and PhD students—in TAMI as interns, volunteers, and part-time employees.” said Schatz. “In the process, she has established film preservation and ‘digital asset management’ as a crucial new area of the RTF program. And because TAMI is involved not only in the preservation of celluloid and analog video materials (dating back 50 to 100 years), but also the digitization and online streaming of these films and videos, the project entails both media history and new media technologies. So the students fortunate enough to be working with Professor Frick on this venture are being schooled in the past, the present, and the future of moving-image media, and in a cutting-edge digital delivery operation as well.”
Frick's background in film preservation is extensive. She served as the first female film curator at the George Eastman House, one of the nation's leading film archives. She was also a film archivist for Warner Bros. and was involved in archival programming for both the Library of Congress's Motion Picture Division and the American Movie Classics cable television channel. She currently serves as the President of the Board for the Association of Moving Image Archivists. Her book, Saving Cinema, was published in 2011 by Oxford University Press.
The UT System posted Frick's stated philosophy on teaching: “I believe that every student is gifted in a multiplicity of ways - gifts that are often predicated upon a variety of learning styles. I strive to help individual students uncover his or her own strengths and see a core pedagogical role as helping students build upon and develop his or her unique assets. My sincere hope is that our work in The University of Texas System encourages our students to explore, to think critically, and to remain curious. Always!”
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