Montevallo resident receives 2018 Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award

Published 10:42 am Monday, November 12, 2018


MONTEVALLO – During the celebration of the University of Montevallo’s 122nd Founders’ Day, UM honored deserving staff, faculty and alumni for their service.

On Oct. 13, the University of Montevallo National Alumni Association presented Dr. John Herron, an associate professor of mathematics at the University, with the Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award for 2018.

Herron received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1995 and a masters in mathematics in 1998, both from East Carolina University.

He went on to receive a doctorate in mathematics from the University of North Carolina in 2004, joining UM’s faculty as an assistant professor of mathematics in 2005.

He has also been dedicated to the University community serving on the Faculty Development and Advisory Committee from 2013 to 2016 and as evaluator for the Learner Impact Analysis presentations from 2012 to 2013.

Herron’s commitment to teaching began in graduate school, where he was awarded the 2004 College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award from the University of North Carolina.

According to both faculty and students Herron has a unique ability to excite and inspire students about mathematics, both in and out of the classroom.

“Rarely do you hear a student get excited about attending a math class; however, since Dr. Herron has joined our faculty, students are excited,” wrote Dr. Houston Byrd, chair of the Department of Biology Chemistry and Mathematics. “Over the past three years, 93 percent of students have rated him as excellent in the classroom.”

“His love of the subject spreads to the students, creating a true mathematical fascination among us,” wrote Brandon McMahan, a graduate of the University of Montevallo and former student of Herron’s.

Herron’s students and colleagues also noted that his presence while in the classroom combined with his methods allow him to be an authority on the material, but remain approachable.

“Dr. Herron is a wonderful presence in front of the room. He exudes calmness and authority,” wrote Dr. Steven Hope, associate professor of physics, in peer reviewing Herron’s Math 147 class. “His demeanor in front of the class can only help students feel comfortable engaging in class participation.”

“If someone in his class needs help, then he will make himself available to them, usually at the time most convenient to the student,” McMahan wrote.

While a professor at UM, Herron has helped shape the core curriculum in the mathematics department as the faculty member responsible for the Mathematics Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Program from 2013 until the present, and is responsible for the assessment and reporting of both the Academic Literacy Advancement and Mastery Course for the mathematics department.