Excellent teachers motivate students to learn in ways that have profound and positive influences on their educational success. Each fall, UNC Charlotte recognizes those faculty members who are exemplary educators through the University Teaching Excellence Awards.
Jennifer Webb and Thomas Marshall are the 2019 recipients of the Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence and the UNC Charlotte Award for Teaching Excellence, respectively. They were honored during a ceremony held Friday, September 6, at the Hilton Center City, along with the other award finalists.
Tom Marshall, a Belk College of Business lecturer, is the inaugural recipient of the UNC Charlotte Award for Teaching Excellence, which recognizes outstanding non-tenure track teachers (primarily lecturers and adjunct faculty). He was lauded for his devotion to students.
Tao-Hsien Dolly King, the Ruth S. Dickson Professor of Finance and former chair of the Finance Department, said, “What makes Tom Marshall stand out among fellow teachers is his commitment to providing experiential learning opportunities for students. His hard work and efforts have resulted in extremely positive impacts on his students, who point out that there are not many other similar opportunities during their undergraduate education.”
Motivating and guiding students to discover their personal career passion is a must for Marshall. “I have found that students are most interested and learn best from real-life examples and experiences, so all of my lectures incorporate stories and examples from my personal experience in the insurance industry or in my personal life,” he said.
Sarah Henley ’19, a former student of Marshall’s, stated, “As a professor and a mentor, Mr. Marshall has always gone above and beyond what a teacher’s job entails … After taking Principles of Risk a couple years ago, I had a professor who captivated my attention to finish what I started 10 years ago—my degree.”
He also maintains regular contact with the top 35 financial services companies that hire the majority of his students to ensure they are adequately prepared to meet corporate goals and add value to the company.
Marshall, who completed an MBA from the Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania, served as regional vice president of Auto-Owners Insurance Co. from 1988 to 2004. He has chaired the Governing Committee of the North Carolina Rate Bureau, which has statutory responsibility for all automobile, homeowners, dwelling and workers compensation rate filings in the state.
Marshall said his own rewarding college experience sparked a desire to pursue a second career to teach and inspire the next generation of insurance professionals. In adding to teaching classes, he leads study abroad programs to London, Dublin, Zurich and Bermuda. As the Belk College academic advisor to Gamma Iota Sigma, he coordinates a semiannual career fair on campus and teams with colleagues to develop and implement professional seminars.