August 27, 2018

Teaching Excellence Award Winners

University Teaching Excellence Award Winners: Outstanding teaching is an integral part of Mason’s mission and is deserving of significant recognition. The Teaching Excellence Awards are both institutional recognition and a monetary acknowledgment of the significant work that faculty members devote to course planning and preparation; curriculum development; and innovative teaching, advising, and undergraduate and graduate mentoring.

Teachers of Distinction: Our Teachers of Distinction are faculty members who have been finalists for the Teaching Excellence Award, and who are recognized across campus for their exceptional teaching and their commitment to teaching-related activities.


2020 University Teaching Excellence Award Winners

Award Winners
Academic Unit
Committee Comment
Justin Gest Schar School of Policy and Government “I was particularly impressed by the variety of problem-based learning opportunities and hands-on experiences through field trips, connecting with clients, inviting important speakers to your courses, that your students receive.”
Anna Habib INTO Mason, College of Humanities & Social Sciences – English “I was particularly impressed by your description of how you attempt to demystify writing for your students. Writing as a subject is undervalued. Students need help with unveiling that ‘magic.'”
Kelly Knight College of Science – Forensic Science “The time and effort you dedicate by learning new topics in the field to expand university curriculum and seeking advice from experts is impressive!”
Sean Lawton College of Science – Mathematical Sciences “I especially like how successfully you place the student at the center of your educational mission. Whether recruiting a student to math in high school, mentoring a student in math research in your lab, or simply offering a truly positive experience to a student just trying to satisfy a math requirement, it’s clear that it’s always about that student. Bravo!”
Shun Ye School of Business – ISOM “I really enjoyed learning about how you engage students by incorporating pop-culture and humor, introducing complex concepts with simplified examples, and modeling the use of technology that students are expected to use to facilitate problem solving in business.”
Benjamin Dreyfus Winner of General Education College of Science – Physics and Astronomy “What really impressed me was how you managed to convey to students that the kinds of thinking they were doing in physics has application to problem solving in other areas of their lives. “
Qi Wei Winner of High Impact Volgenau School of Engineering – Bioengineering “[I admire how you] practice team teaching and collaborative learning, work with OSCAR and [help students get] published. I have nothing but positive comments about this work.”

2020 Teachers of Distinction Award Winners

Award Winners
Academic Unit
Committee Comment
Jon Bell Volgenau School of Engineering – Computer Science “I really like how you think about homework assignments; the three phase approach shows considerable understanding of scaffolding learning for students and allowing opportunities for success for all learners.”
Keith Clark College of Humanities and Social Sciences – English “I was particularly impressed by [your] ability to bring topics to light in historical context as well as the ability to seamlessly combine different aspects of other relevant topics in a way that made the course material come to life.”
Jason Kinser College of Science – Computational and Data Sciences “I was particularly impressed by what you learned in the ALT classrooms and how you shared that data, including controls with the broader educational community. It provides key insight into what students do differently in active learning environments vs. traditional classrooms.”
Katherine Russell Volgenau School of Engineering – Computer Science “You are clearly very strong in your ability to support student learning by scaffolding assignments and projects. I think it is great how you really work to make your class experience mirror industry and let students know what they are likely to face in the workplace after graduation.”
Ioulia Rytikova Volgenau School of Engineering – Information Sciences and Technology “I was particularly impressed by your comprehensive mentoring program and engagement of adjunct faculty in research collaborations. What a brilliant way to impact faculty, teaching assistants, and students!”
Catherine Wright College of Humanities and Social Sciences – Communication “I was particularly impressed by [your] personal immersion into Italian culture as a means of making the study abroad course better. Impressive on every level. Equally impressive was [your] awareness and acceptance of the unique nature of the study abroad programs in which students can see [your] private self as well as [your] more public professional persona.”


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2019 University Teaching Excellence Award Winners

Award Winners Academic Unit Featured Teaching Strategy
Paul Ammann Computer Science (VSE) Using ShowMe Videos to Explain Class Concepts
Wendi Manuel-Scott School of Integrative Studies (CHSS) Active Reading: Syllabus Statement
Eric Piccione Computer Game Design (CVPA) Using Discord to Build Community Online
Justin Ramsdell Psychology (CHSS) Rethinking the Group Project: Presentation Relays
Emily Rancourt Forensic Science (COS) No Such Thing as Enough Questions
Sunny Harris Rome: High Impact Teaching Social Work (CHHS) Compose an Advocacy Portfolio
Jennifer Victor: General Education Schar School of Policy and Government Prepare Students for Political and Nonpartisan Discussion


2019 Teachers of Distinction

Teachers of Distinction Academic Unit Featured Teaching Strategy
Seth Hudson Computer Game Design (CVPA)
Natalie Burls Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences (COS)
Kelley Regan Graduate School of Education (CEHD)


2018 University Teaching Excellence Award Winners

Award Winners Academic Unit Featured Teaching Strategy
James Carroll: General Education School of Music (CVPA) A Pedagogy of Listening
Dawn Hathaway: Technology-Enhanced Teaching Graduate School of Education (CEHD) Beyond “Lesson Plan”: Teaching as a Design Process
Younsung Kim Environmental Science & Policy (COS) Flex Learning via “Real-Time-Based” Student Feedback
Alexandra Masterson Biology (COS) Dramatizing the Heart
Graziella McCarron School of Integrative Studies (CHSS) Building Common Ground: Introductory Blog Post
Laura Poms Global & Community Health (CHHS) Group Contract Guidelines
Amarda Shehu Computer Science (VSE) Supporting High-Complexity Coding


2018 Teachers of Distinction

Teachers of Distinction Academic Unit Featured Teaching Strategy
Laurence Bray Bioengineering (VSE)
Kristy Park Graduate School of Education (CEHD) Coming Out from Behind the Curtain: Facetime in Online Teaching
Chris Parsons Environmental Science & Policy (COS)


2017 University Teaching Excellence Award Winners

Award Winners Academic Unit Featured Teaching Strategy
Autum Casey School of Theater (CVPA) End of Semester Debrief questions
Lauren Cattaneo Psychology (CHSS)
Yotam Gingold Computer Science (VSE) Postmortems and Temperature-taking
Chris Kauffman: Technology-Enhanced Teaching Computer Science (VSE) Discussion Hot Seats
Malda Kocache Biology (COS)
April Mattix Foster Graduate School of Education (CEHD) Teacher Talk Moves: Keeping Dialogue Productive
Angela Miller Graduate School of Education (CEHD) No-Penalty Quizzes Lower Statistics Anxiety
Julia Nord: General Education Atmospheric, Oceanic, & Earth Sciences (COS) Formative Evaluation for Learning Retention


2017 Teachers of Distinction

Teachers of Distinction Academic Unit Featured Teaching Strategy
Changwoo Ahn Environmental Science & Policy (COS)
Diana D’Amico Graduate School of Education (CEHD)
Greg Foster Chemistry & Biochemistry (COS)
Edward Huang Systems Engineering & Operations Research (VSE)
Jeffrey Kulick Marketing (BUSI)
Audra Parker Graduate School of Education (CEHD)
Margaret Slavin Nutrition & Food Studies (CHHS)


2016 University Teaching Excellence Award Winners

Award Winners Academic Unit
Jennifer Brielmaier Psychology (CHSS)
Christopher Coyne Economics (CHSS)
Kinga Dobolyi Computer Science (VSE)
Anya Evmenova; Technology-Enhanced Teaching Graduate School of Education (CEHD)
Laura Kosoglu Civil, Environmental, & Infrastructure Engineering (VSE)
Mark Snyder Computer Science (VSE)
Joseph Weingartner Physics & Astronomy (COS)
Ali Weinstein Global & Community Health (CHHS)


2016 Teachers of Distinction

Teachers of Distinction Academic Unit
Angela Miller Graduate School of Education (CEHD)
Seth Parsons Graduate School of Education (CEHD)
Kathleen Wage Electrical & Computer Engineering (VSE)
Douglas Wulf English (CHSS)


2015 University Teaching Excellence Award Winners

Award Winners Academic Unit
Tommy Britt Film & Video Studies (CVPA)
Rebecca Ericson; General Education School of Physics, Astronomy, and Computational Sciences (COS)
Sean Luke; Teaching with Technology Computer Science (VSE)
Nathalia Peixoto Electrical & Computer Engineering (VSE)
Keith Renshaw Psychology (CHSS)
Girum Urgessa Civil, Environmental, & Infrastructure Engineering (VSE)
Gerald Weatherspoon Chemistry & Biochemistry (COS)
Kristien Zenkov Graduate School of Education (CEHD)


2015 Teachers of Distinction

Teachers of Distinction Academic Unit
Mihai Boicu Applied Information Technology (VSE)
Lynne Scott Constantine School of Art (CVPA)
Rebecca Goldin Mathematical Sciences (COS)
Cortney Hughes-Rinker Sociology & Anthropology (CHSS)
Pelin Kurtay Electrical & Computer Engineering (VSE)
Ricardo Vivancos Pérez Modern & Classical Languages (CHSS)


2014 University Teaching Excellence Award Winners

Award Winners Academic Unit
Eric Anderson; General Education English (CHSS)
Rebecca Forkner Environmental Science & Policy (COS)
Gregory Grimsby; Teaching with Technology Computer Game Design Program (CVPA)
Jill Nelson Electrical & Computer Engineering (VSE)
Huzefa Rangwala Computer Science (VSE)
Pallab Sanyal Information Systems & Operations Management (SOM)
David Schleicher School of Law (SOL)
Michael Summers School of Physics, Astronomy, and Computational Sciences (COS)


2014 Teachers of Distinction

Teachers of Distinction Academic Unit
Amy Best Sociology & Anthropology (CHSS)
Thomas Britt Film & Video Studies (CVPA)
Robin Couch Chemistry & Biochemistry (COS)
J. Robert Cressman School of Physics, Astronomy, and Computational Sciences (COS); Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study
Jeremy Hodgson Communication (CHSS)
Panagiota Kitsantas Health Administration & Policy (CHHS)
Seungwon “Shawn” Lee School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism (CEHD)
Matthew Rice Geography & Geoinformation Science (COS)
Kristien Zenkov Graduate School of Education (CEHD)


2013 University Teaching Excellence Award Winners

Award Winners Academic Unit
Daniel Cox School of Systems Biology (COS); Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study
Shannon Davis Sociology & Anthropology (CHSS)
Paul Gorski; General Education New Century College (CHSS)
Christopher Hamner History & Art History (CHSS)
Kathryn Jacobsen Global & Community Health (CHHS)
Jaime Lester Higher Education Program (CHSS)
Jeffrey Mantz Sociology & Anthropology (CHSS)
Jeff Offutt; Teaching with Technology Computer Science (VSE)


2013 Teachers of Distinction

Teachers of Distinction Academic Unit
Gérard Beck Modern & Classical Languages (CHSS)
Guido Cervone Geography & Geoinformation Science (COS)
Maria Dakake Religious Studies (CHSS)
Marci Kinas-Jerome Graduate School of Education (CEHD)
Mary Lechter Theater (CVPA)
Seungwon “Shawn” Lee School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism (CEHD)
Kristien Zenkov Graduate School of Education (CEHD)


2012 University Teaching Excellence Award Winners

Award Winners Academic Unit
Yoosun Chung; Teaching with Technology Graduate School of Education (CEHD)
Paul Cooper Chemistry & Biochemistry (COS)
Margaret Daniels School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism (CEHD)
Lisa Lister; General Education English (CHSS)
Tamara Maddox Computer Science (VSE)
Julie Owen New Century College (CHSS)
Danielle Rudes Criminology, Law & Society (CHSS)


2012 Teachers of Distinction

Teachers of Distinction Academic Unit
Shannon Davis Sociology & Anthropology (CHSS)
Rajesh Ganesan Systems Engineering & Operations Research (VSE)
Hugh Gusterson Sociology & Anthropology (CHSS)
Jaime Lester Higher Education Program (CHSS)
Erin Peters Burton Graduate School of Education (CEHD)
Shannon Portillo Criminology, Law & Society (CHSS)
Jennifer Suh Graduate School of Education (CEHD)