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Music Professor Receives UT Regents Outstanding Teaching Award 

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – AUG. 19, 2013Dr. Cristina Ballatori, Assistant Professor of Music at The University of Texas at Brownsville, has been named by The University of Texas Board of Regents to receive the coveted 2013 UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award.
Cristina Ballatori
Dr. Cristina Ballatori
“It has been quite a journey for me at UTB over the last five years, and it is very meaningful to have my work here recognized,” Ballatori said. “I am honored to have received this award, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to work in the UTB Music Department with such talented and supportive colleagues who are all deeply and uniquely committed to the growth and success of our music students.” 
The UT System’s 2013 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award is given annually to professors who demonstrate a clear commitment to teaching and a sustained ability to deliver excellence to the undergraduate learning experience. This year, Ballatori is among 63 faculty members throughout the UT System – and the only professor from UTB – that will be honored at the awards banquet held in Austin on Wednesday, Aug. 21. Each will receive a $25,000 monetary award. 
“We are deeply grateful to the Regents for their ongoing commitment to honor our very best and most dedicated faculty,” said UT Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa. “These awards recognize the immeasurable impact teachers have on our students, who will shape the future of our communities across Texas and the nation.”  
Ballatori teaches applied flute, is co-founder and co-director of the UTB Woodwind Chamber Music program and serves as advisor of the Flautissimo Flute Club, a student organization on the UTB campus. She is also director of the UTB Flute Choir, recently returned from the 41st Annual National Flute Association Convention in New Orleans. 
The nine-member Flute Choir, accompanied by eight guitarists in the One O’Clock Guitar Ensemble, was selected by blind audition to perform at the convention, where the group was enthusiastically received by musicians from throughout the world. Students participated in all aspects of the four-day event that featured concerts, master classes and clinics with internationally renowned flutists, teachers and clinicians. 
Ballatori’s students are pursuing music education degrees that will prepare them to teach in kindergarten through 12th grade music programs. 
“I love working with my students at UTB; over the last five years they have taught me many lessons,” she said. 
Ballatori encourages her students to grow as musicians and as future teachers by stretching beyond their comfort zones during summer breaks. She has had students accepted at the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival at Juilliard and the National Collegiate Wind Ensemble at Carnegie Hall. 
“My hope is that my students will draw upon every experience and every opportunity they have had while at UTB and carry what they have learned into their classrooms and make a positive impact on their own students,” Ballatori said.  
The Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award panel is comprised of external judges who look at three years of nominees’ teaching performance and philosophy, pedagogical innovation, curriculum quality and other factors. Faculty members from the systems’ nine universities and six health campuses are recognized. The awards were first given in 2008. 
“Our faculty members are the heart and soul of our institutions, and they are the most critical factor in student success,” said Chairman Gene Powell. “The Board created the ROTA program because of our respect and appreciation for these outstanding teachers, and because we want to make sure our institutions continue to be places of educational excellence.” 
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