Communication Studies Faculty Member Receives Bonnie E. Cone Early-Career Professorship in Teaching

Erin Basinger, associate professor of communication studies in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, is this year’s recipient of the Bonnie E. Cone Early-Career Professorship in Teaching. This annual award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated a commitment to teaching at the beginning of their academic career. It goes to a member of the faculty who has earned tenure within the last three years. The appointment is for a three-year term.

Known as a model instructor by her colleagues, Basinger operates according to two principles: skill building and mutual respect. She keeps students engaged by teaching transferable skills and giving them a continuous goal that allows them to see their progress. She also helps students develop useful skills by encouraging application to their lives and community. 

Students seek out her courses despite her reputation as a tough grader because she adopts the perspective that students are whole people with lives and challenges outside the classroom. This guiding principle of trust and respect affects how she approaches and responds to her students — and it has made an impact on her students’ success.  

Basinger organizes her courses around discussion and active learning. She routinely updates course content to reflect recent scholarship and trends in higher education and adapts her classroom management strategies around changing student needs. Her excellence in classroom teaching extends to online teaching, where she has implemented best practices based on her training in Quality Matters.

In research, Basinger focuses on interpersonal processes, including conflict, social support, and coping, as they occur in the health contexts. Specifically, she investigates how family members manage a variety of health stressors, including chronic illness, grief and loss, and mental illness.

The Office of Academic Affairs recognized Basinger and two other award recipients  for exemplary work in the areas of teaching and civic engagement at the annual Provost’s Awards reception. These areas are vital to UNC Charlotte’s mission to educate and prepare students for chosen careers and to address community needs in the greater Charlotte region.

Other winners of this year’s Provost’s Awards are Susan McCarter, professor of social work, who received the Bonnie E. Cone Professorship in Civic Engagement; and the University Center for Academic Excellence, which received the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Joan Lorden presented the awards.

Pictured: Erin Basinger (left) receives her award from Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Joan Lorden.