Keithly Selected as 2023 TEA Recipient

Dr. Mary Keithly, 2023 Teaching Excellence Award recipient

LINCOLN – The Nebraska State Colleges Board of Trustees has selected Dr. Mary Keithly as the 2023 Teaching Excellence Award recipient for the Nebraska State College System. Dr. Keithly was selected during the Board of Trustees meeting on Mar. 23, 2023 and will be celebrated during the spring commencement ceremony at Chadron State College.

“Dr. Keithly is an outstanding educator. Her dedication to students reflects the core values, mission, and vision of Chadron State College and the Nebraska State College System,” said Chancellor Paul Turman of the Nebraska State College System (NSCS). “She passes on her passion for science to her students through her innovative high-impact learning activities within her courses, innovative teaching techniques that encourage student engagement, connects the material with real-world examples, advising, and student-led research.”   

Each year the NSCS recognizes a faculty member from one of the three State Colleges with the Teaching Excellence Award. A nominee from each College is submitted for consideration after being selected as the College-level Teaching Excellence Award recipient. The award recognizes superior teaching and advising, innovative instructional practices, high educational standards, and engaging learning environments that inspire and motivate students.

Keithly’s nomination included several letters of support, including these highlighted quotes:  

“Dr. Keithly goes above and beyond her call as an educator every day to set her students up to succeed in life after Chadron. We are so lucky to have her as a teacher and mentor. Words cannot describe how impactful she has been to student success at Chadron State College. Dr. Keithly has and will continue to be a phenomenal educator here at Chadron State,” said Shaunda French-Collins, PhD, Interim Dean, Graduate Studies & Business, Mathematics & Science at Chadron State College.

“Dr. Keithly has an exemplary record for service and is dedicated to continuous improvement in her academic discipline. She is an outstanding teacher and an active scholar,” said Dr. Randy Rhine, President of Chadron State College.

“Dr. Keithly goes above and beyond for her students. She presents students with all the information to be successful and takes it upon herself to find additional resources for the students' success. Dr. Keithly is instrumental in the organization and success of the Peer Assisted Study Session. She hand selects students to be tutors that she believes will be the most beneficial for the students' success enrolled in the course,” said Brianna Smith, Chadron State student nominator. 

“She is truly the embodiment of an exceptional professor, mentor, and person. There is no one more deserving of the Nebraska State College System Teaching Excellence Award. Dr. Keithly is how all professors should strive to be,” said former student Abigail Klammer.

“I am honored to be awarded the NSCS Teaching Excellence Award. I am grateful to my student Brianna Smith, who nominated me, and humbled by the kind words that my colleagues and students have shared in their letters of support.,” said Dr. Mary Keithly, Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematical and Natural Sciences. 

Keithly earned her PhD in chemistry from Vanderbilt University, and bachelors in chemistry from the University of Missouri – St. Louis.   

"I am a first-generation student, and it was a really hard decision for me to attend college or not. Then, I found Peru State College. With the scholarships and affordable living expenses here, Peru made the decision a lot less difficult."

Photo of Carlene Riley

Carlene Riley

Peru State College