SMC professor receives excellence in teaching award for extraordinary service 2020

SMC professor receives excellence in teaching award for extraordinary service

Dr. Litasha Dennis, professor of English, has built a reputation among students at Spartanburg Methodist College for being the go-to for help with challenging writing assignments. She’s also known for her energetic and exciting lectures and presentations. Pass her classroom during one of her talks, and you’ll notice students zeroed in on everything she’s saying.

It is this reputation and the admiration from her fellow faculty members that earned her the 2020 South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) Excellence in Teaching Award.

“Perhaps the best evidence of excellence in teaching is receiving recommendations from the students themselves,” says Professor Pamela Hutto, SMC professor of sociology. “I often hear students telling each other to visit Dr. Dennis in the writing center because of her skill with helping students.”

Dennis has been at SMC since 2012 and brings more than 21 years of teaching experience to the classroom. She earned her Ph.D. in Twentieth-century American Literature with a concentration in African American literature from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, her Master of Arts in English and her Bachelor of Arts in English both from Winthrop University.

During her time at SMC, Dennis has served as the Chair of the English department, a member of various committees, including the Faculty Steering and Tenure committees, a student advisor and a tutor in the writing center.

“Dr. Dennis is an incredibly gifted professor, and we are fortunate that she has chosen to teach at SMC. She has a unique ability to capture students’ attention and, at the same time, inspire everyone around her,” says President Scott Cochran.

The SCICI Excellence in Teaching Award is accompanied by a $3,000 research grant, which Dennis may use towards professional development.

SCICU is a charitable organization that represents 20 liberal arts institutions in South Carolina. SCICU provides support for its member institutions by fundraising and supplementing scholarships and research. In order to become a member of SCICU, a school must be either a four- or two-year liberal arts college or university, be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and be a nonprofit institution based in South Carolina.

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