Picture of Dr. Marjan Afrouzian, associate professor in the department of pathology

Dr. Marjan Afrouzian recognized as 2021 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award recipient

The University of Texas System Board of Regents named Dr. Marjan Afrouzian, associate professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch, a 2021 Outstanding Teaching Award recipient. 

“This award means the passion that I have for teaching, and the love that I have for my students, residents and fellows have been reciprocated in the most beautiful way,” Afrouzian said. 

The award was established in 2008 to honor extraordinary classroom performance and innovation. Nominees undergo a series of rigorous evaluations, and the review panels consider a range of activities and criteria in their evaluations of a candidate's teaching performance. 

“The best way to ensure students get the full promise of a UT degree is to provide them with outstanding faculty,” Chairman Kevin P. Eltife said. “On behalf of the Board of Regents, I extend our profound appreciation to these educators for their commitment to teaching excellence and passion for serving students.” 

As part of her teaching philosophy, Afrouzian said that talent and passion are not enough–she follows a systematic and scientific approach to education, learns the latest theories and methodologies and serves as a mentor in both the education and lives of her students. 

“My goals as a teacher are to instill the passion for learning, to role model life-long and self-directed learning and to provide moral support for my students,” Afrouzian wrote in the application. “I have a holistic approach to education and believe that creating a safe learning environment for my students, paying attention to their well-being and to their problems are all part of the role of a good teacher.” 

Afrouzian said that the COVID-19 situation allowed her to bring a novel teaching and learning methodology to UTMB, called The Peer Instruction. The approach creates a student-centered learning environment that embraces a new generation of students who are self-learners, championing group effort and technology. 

“My students’ intelligence, amazing capacity to absorb information, intellectual power to analyze their environment and sense of truthfulness inspire me,” Afrouzian said. “I also learn a lot from them at every step.” 

Afrouzian is joined by 13 other award recipients from other UT System institutions and will be recognized virtually during the November Board of Regents meeting.

“I’m delighted we are able to recognize these exceptional educators who are so committed to engaging, teaching, and supporting their students,” Chancellor James B. Milliken said. “I’m grateful to the Board of Regents for recognizing their impact on our students and our campuses.”