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Rachel Willis, Professor, Department of American Studies

Dr. Rachel Willis’ is a long-time faculty member in the Department of American Studies who utilizes experiential and service-learning approaches to education. Her teaching and research are inherently interdisciplinary, and the committee was impressed with Dr. Willis’ vast repertoire of creative pedagogies and impact beyond Carolina. In lieu lectures, Dr. Willis utilizes creative storytelling, class excursions, and team-based learning. Student nominations overwhelmingly speak to her ability to transform student lives: Dr. Willis “creates a class space that welcomes discussion, individual thinking, and leadership amongst her students.” Another student nomination noted that “Dr. Willis is a mentor who has left an indelible mark on my approach to learning and education.” She fosters a “lead by example” mentality to promote lifelong learning.