n Emory & Henry College professor of mass communications who led in efforts to dramatically expand the reach of the College’s radio station has been awarded the 2010 Outstanding Faculty Award by the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia.
Dr. Teresa Keller, who has taught at Emory & Henry for 24 years, was recognized by SCHEV for her success as a teacher, her scholarship and her outreach to the community.
Another E&H professor, Dr. Michael Lane of the college’s Chemistry Department, was named a finalist for the Outstanding Faculty Award in a special category that recognizes rising stars.
Keller’s leadership resulted in a major expansion of power – from 500 watts to almost 9,000 watts – for WEHC radio, which now carries a wide variety of national public radio programming as well as a variety of campus and community programs. The recent power boost takes the WEHC signal (found at 90.7 on the FM dial) to an audience that stretches east beyond Marion, Va, west of Bristol, Va., north into Richlands and Tazewell, Va., and south to Mountain City, Tenn.
Keller, the co-author of a widely used textbook for broadcast journalism, has long been recognized as a champion for open government and of cameras in the courtroom. The chair of the E&H Mass Communications Department, she has led in efforts to establish an on-line news site and a departmental television operation, EHC-TV.
In 2003, these efforts were recognized by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), which named Keller Virginia Professor of the Year.
Keller’s honor marks the 12th time in 21 years that an Emory & Henry professor has won a major state or national teaching award. When adjusted for the size of the college, that record is unmatched by any college or university in Virginia.
Her current and former students praise Keller for her devotion to their education and to the field of communications.
“She pushes and encourages you in ways that are not overbearing, but instead passionate and compassionate,” said Sunni Blevins, a 2005 E&H graduate who now serves as a morning reporter and anchor for NBC 12 in Richmond. “I could always tell that she cared about me, not only as a student, but as a person.”