Skip to content

Religious Studies in the News

Erin Darby and Manuela Ceballos honored at the college's 2018 awards banquet

Manuela CeballosManuela Ceballos, assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies, received the Junior Excellence in Teaching Award.

“Her selection should come as no surprise to her students, who, as her nominator wrote, used the word ‘amazing’ in her evaluations too many times to count,” Associate Dean for Academic Programs Chuck Collins said. This achievement comes while teaching challenging topics (e.g. The Qur’an and the Literature of Islam). She makes this happen through a combination of content expertise in engaging in difficult texts, and a desire to connect to the students by building classroom communities in which vulnerability is not punished, but rather encouraged. Ceballos is making an amazing impact in and out of her classroom.

Erin DarbyEver since she stepped foot on campus in 2011, Erin Darby, associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies, has engaged in outreach with members of the community, both in East Tennessee and around the world, and received the Academic Outreach Service Award.

“For years, Dr. Darby has introduced archaeology and the Middle East to our students and our community through several events, including the highly-successful Arab Fest,” Lee said. “Her deep engagement with outreach integrates her research expertise in archaeology with local and international communities in ways that improve the lives of people in our region as well as in Jordan.” Darby’s largest project, ‘Ayn Gharandal Archaeological Project, expands her research in Jordan into numerous outreach and service learning programs that benefit undergraduate students at UT and the University of Missouri at Columbia, the East Tennessee community, and the government and people of Jordan. Her study abroad program, Dig Jordan, is the only faculty-led study abroad program to the Middle East in the entire UT system. Her outreach has impacted scores of UT students as well as large audiences in East Tennessee and significant international communities.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.