COMM Studies instructor, Dr. Jennifer Gray, receives 2024 UNT Adjunct Award for Teaching Excellence | Communication Studies
February 28, 2024

COMM Studies instructor, Dr. Jennifer Gray, receives 2024 UNT Adjunct Award for Teaching Excellence

Congratulations are in store for Dr. Jennifer Gray, recipient of the 2024 UNT Adjunct Award for Teaching Excellence! This award recognizes one adjunct instructor from across the entire UNT campus who exemplifies the highest quality for the teaching and mentorship of students.

Dr. Gray received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from UNT in 2005 and her Master of Arts in Communication Studies from UNT in 2008. Since receiving her MA, she has been a full-time faculty member at Dallas College's Department of Speech and Communication, and she returned to teaching UNT's Department of Communication Studies as an adjunct instructor in 2018. While serving as a faculty member and instructor, Dr. Gray pursued a Doctor of Education in Educational Policy and Leadership at Southern Methodist University, earning her Ed.D. in 2019.

At UNT, Dr. Gray has taught COMM 2020 (Interpersonal Communication), COMM 3010 (Communication Research Perspectives), and COMM 3120 (Nonverbal Communication). Dr. Gray primarily teaches the online version of COMM 2020, a class which draws both COMM majors and students from across the university for whom the class fulfills a core requirement. Dr. Gray deftly balances this mixture of students and the unique challenges of online learning to create a space where students can interface between the readings and theories, applying them to their own life experiences. As one student remarked, "This class made me evaluate all the ways I communicate in my day-to-day life. Just putting the concepts from class into action at my job, in the classroom, or in other social aspects of life helped me understand that communication is vital to our everyday life."

Dr. Gray's excellence as an instructor goes far beyond coursework. As instructors grappled with the challenges of the unexpected shift from in-person to online instruction in March of 2020, Dr. Gray taught one of the most difficult courses in the major, COMM 3010, and supported her students immeasurably. As a student at the time noted, "Not only was she willing to schedule office hours twice a week, but she was willing to pick up the phone to answer any questions we had at the time. [While teaching six classes,] she managed to still hear us out and be there for us, and I can't say the same for my other professors."

Dr. Gray's remains committed to student success both inside and outside the classroom. Dr. Suzanne Enck, Department Chair for UNT's Communication Studies, states, "[Dr. Gray] mentors our students in learning about the world around them and in learning how they might be more meaningfully engaged in relating to others. She guides students toward better futures in both their personal and professional lives, and she never misses an opportunity to provide one-on-one support for students when they are struggling."

Congratulations, Dr. Gray! We are so lucky to have you as an instructor and cannot be more pleased at your selection for this well-deserved award.