Roberts awarded for teaching excellence

Tessa Duvall

Julia Roberts, the Mahurin Professor of Gifted Studies at WKU, received one of two Acorn Awards last Friday for teaching excellence at the Governor’s Conference on Postsecondary Education Trusteeship in Lexington.

The award is given annually in Kentucky to one professor at a four-year college or university, and the other to a professor at a two-year institution. Recipients are chosen based on recommendations by faculty and students and self-written essays about teaching philosophy.

President Gary Ransdell said that Roberts is a “superb” teacher and researcher.

“She has become a world leader in the education of gifted and talented students,” Ransdell said in a press release. “Our gifted children are fortunately to have Julia Roberts leading this important sector of education in Kentucky.”

During Roberts’ 35 years at WKU, her work has affected more than 30,000 students, Ransdell said in the release.

Roberts serves as the founder and executive director of The Center for Gifted Studies and helped to open the Gatton Academy on WKU’s campus.

Roberts, who has been in the education field for a total of 46 years, said she was honored to be recognized as a productive faculty member and for initiating and directing programming for gifted students.

“The wonderful young people with whom I have had the privilege of working are the highlight of my career,” Roberts said.