It was a normal day in journalism professor Chris Roush’s classroom.
The students filed into room 21 of Carroll Hall. Before taking their seats, they gathered around the professor they refer to casually as “Chris” to catch up and discuss their stories.
But for the past few days, one thing has been different. Since Thursday, “Chris” has also been known to them as the N.C. Professor of the Year.
The selection made Roush the first UNC professor to win the award since 1998, when communication studies professor Julia Wood received the honor from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
“I get a lot of satisfaction out of seeing students improve,” Roush said. “Although I loved working as a reporter, there is much more positive feedback in teaching.
“My hope is that students will attain the skills to get a good job. I want to teach them the things that I didn’t learn when I was first starting out.”
Students said they find the level of respect Roush commands in his classes demanding. But they said the courses are more than worth the effort.
“I really enjoy how the class is hands-on and practical,” said Andrew Westney, a student in Roush’s reporting and writing news course. “Roush really prides himself on being so available and accessible.”
Since his arrival in 2002, Roush has wasted no time establishing himself as one of the most knowledgeable and sought-after professors, particularly in business journalism.