Dr. Jane Thrailkill arrived at UNC-Chapel Hill 17 years ago to confer her love of literature and passion for medical humanities on budding scholars in liberal arts programs.

As a published author and public speaker, she has no shortage of awards on her curriculum vitae, but the UNC Board of Governors recently bestowed her with another high honor.

The Awards for Excellence in Teaching are granted every year to one instructor in each of the 17 constituent institutions that comprise the University of North Carolina education system.

According to Board Chairman Lou Bissette, Thrailkill and the 16 other instructors selected for recognition this year are “making real difference in student learning.”

That praise is apt for a teacher who founded one of the first health humanities labs in the country and claims that “nothing is off the table” when she teaches students.

The lab is rooted in her interdisciplinary efforts to examine the relationship between healers and the infirmed, with its affiliates exploring the dimensions of human mortality.

By combining the science of medicine with the art of literary expression in her classes, she has inspired students pursuing both medical and fine arts degrees.

Interviews with Thrailkill and each of the 16 other award recipients are available on the University of North Carolina website at northcarolina.edu/board-governors-awards/teaching-awards-2017.

Image from TEDxUNC.