Julie Johnson-Busbin, professor of sales and marketing in Western Carolina University’s College of Business, has been named one of the top teachers in the University of North Carolina system in recognition of her ability to present information that is applicable to students’ professional and personal lives and to help them succeed in the business world. The 2017 UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching also recognizes Johnson-Busbin’s knack for helping students develop an improved outlook about themselves and their potential for success.

“My goal is to afford students the chance to try new skills, receive feedback, critique themselves and try again. I like to push students when they haven’t reached as far as they are capable, yet provide support when they’ve stretched as far as they can,” she said. “What I would argue is that often the actual content of the class is not what students remember several years down the road. I believe that it is helping students better understand themselves and giving them insight into the potential that makes each one unique.”

WCU alumni now employed by companies such as E*TRADE, Financial Corp, United Parcel Service, Sherwin-Williams and IBM raved about Johnson-Busbin’s performance as a teacher and her impact on their success as students and professionals. A former student said Johnson-Busbin “has an innate ability to state the facts of the ‘real world’ to her students and prepare them for those realities better than any other educator I’ve been around.”

Johnson-Busbin and the 16 other recipients of the UNC honor, representing an array of academic disciplines, were nominated by special committees on their home campuses and selected by the Board of Governors Committee on Personnel and Tenure. Winners receive a commemorative bronze medallion and $12,500 cash prize. The board established the awards in April 1994 to underscore the importance of teaching and to reward good teaching across the university system.