Terry Shirley Jr. is widely known for his enthusiasm for meteorology, and he wants to share that passion with others. Ultimately though, he simply wants to help students succeed. “Getting someone excited to learn, to grow as a person, to embrace diversity, to problem solve, to ask ‘Why?’, and to effectively communicate is what I center my career around,” he says.
Outside of the classroom, Shirley takes part in activities that support student success by providing academic advising to 70-90 majors each semester and through his involvement with freshman advising and engagement activities.
During his 13 years at UNC Charlotte, Shirley has developed two general education electives and several upper division bachelor’s courses. He also developed and delivered one of the department’s first online courses. In addition, Shirley is the department’s faculty fellow for LEADS, a transdisciplinary career preparation program.
Shirley wants every student to experience UNC Charlotte as a welcoming place where they can be successful. During the summer, he teaches in the University Transition Opportunities Program (UTOP), which helps prepare underrepresented, first-generation freshmen for University life. Additionally, he founded the Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (OSTEM) organization after identifying a need among LGBTQ+ students.
Shirley embraces the UNC Charlotte mission to engage the community beyond the campus. He is the faculty mentor for the STORM student club that holds the public Weatherfest event on campus that is targeted to children and families. And he also teaches retired adults through the Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation’s Master Naturalist course on meteorology.