By Ashley Rader
He generally misses it, preferring to use his time to prepare for the classes he teaches as an assistant professor in art and design at the school.
But his department chair “encouraged” him to attend.
It definitely was worth missing a little class preparation.
Graves received ETSU’s highest teaching honor – the Distinguished Faculty Award in Teaching – at the convocation that kicks off the fall semester.
“I knew I was nominated and didn’t expect to get it,” he said. “My chair was very forthright, and said I should go to the ceremony. It was exciting. I thought if I win this it would be great. When this happened, I thought this is really something special. I took a lot of pride in the fact I was being recognized for doing my job and doing it well.”
For Graves, reading the nomination letters was as much of a prize as winning the award.
“To be honest, if I had not gotten that award, reading those letters was really something,” he said. “I had no idea how much of an impact a teacher has on people’s lives. I wouldn’t say it brought tears to my eyes but it was pretty close for a while.”