University Excellence in Teaching
Nominations for the Excellence in Teaching Awards are made by students. They consider several criteria, including depth of knowledge in the subject; ability to provide effective links among course content, research, and experiential learning; and the rigor of course content. Award decisions are made by a committee composed of faculty members and representatives of the undergraduate Student Government Association and the Graduate Student Government
Carlene Hempel, Lecturer, College of Arts, Media and Design
Professor Hempel patterns her classroom environment along the same lines as a newsroom: Deadline pressure is fierce, standards are high, and the expectation of ethical, accurate, and fairminded reporting is paramount. In 2009, she took 25 students to Egypt, Syria, and Qatar for five weeks to work as international journalists—a first for the School of Journalism. She had led other Dialogue of Civilizations programs to Jordan, Turkey, and Spain. Her students say she is tough but fair, preparing them for future rigorous co-ops and demanding jobs. One student echoes the multitude: “I can’t explain the influence [Hempel has] had over pushing me to be the best version of myself.”
Mya Poe, Assistant Professor of English, College of Social Sciences and Humanities
Professor Poe’s tireless commitment to her students’ success, both in and out of the classroom, is inspirational. She creates an environment that’s interactive, critical, and inclusive, because she believes that the best learning environment is one that’s constructed together—with her and her students as a community. She has established several writing groups, mentoring graduate students on their master’s theses, assisting PhD students with their exams and dissertations, and supporting lecturers as they move their scholarship toward publication. Augmenting rigorous classroom readings and discussions, she works closely with graduate students to tailor final projects that resonate with their interests and abilities.