Professors Recognized for Excellence in Teaching, Research and Mentoring

Professors Recognized for Excellence in Teaching, Research and Mentoring

By University Communications
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Zoe Cohen
Zoe Cohen
Kaci Kiehlbaugh
Kaci Kiehlbaugh
Annette Joseph-Gabriel
Annette Joseph-Gabriel
Shufeng Zhang
Shufeng Zhang
Joseph Galaskiewicz
Joseph Galaskiewicz
Edward Kerschen
Edward Kerschen
Ivy Pike
Ivy Pike

Seven professors who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and mentoring were honored today at the Awards of Distinction ceremony.

The annual awards are presented by the Office of the Provost, the Honors College, the Graduate College, and the GIFT Center at the University of Arizona Foundation. 

"The Awards of Distinction ceremony is our opportunity to recognize excellence and celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of faculty at the University of Arizona," said Gail Burd, senior vice provost for academic affairs. "These awards will acknowledge outstanding achievements in teaching and research." 

The honorees are:

Undergraduate STEM Education Teaching Excellence Award: Fall 2016
Zoe Cohen, assistant professor in the College of Medicine – Tucson

The Undergraduate STEM Education Teaching Excellence Award acknowledges a faculty member who has implemented active learning instructional strategies in their courses. The award comes with a $1,000 prize.

Cohen has used technology to keep her students engaged and maintains a blog where the students are able to discuss course-related topics.

"Zoe's enthusiasm about teaching and trying new methods is contagious and she has been an inspiration to many faculty members within her department and across campus," Claudia Stanescu, assistant professor of physiology and director of the physiology undergraduate program, wrote in her nomination of Cohen.

Undergraduate STEM Education Teaching Excellence Award: Spring 2017
Kasi Kiehlbaugh, lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Kiehlbaugh, who started as an adjunct instructor for Introduction to Engineering, uses evidence-based teaching and learning strategies in her classrooms. She collaborated with Paul Blowers, Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, to teach the Elements of Chemical Engineering II course in a Collaborative Learning Space. Together, they were able to benefit the students by coming up with course plans and teaching strategies based on each other's strengths.

"Kasi continues her growth as an instructor by actively participating in faculty learning communities that focus on philosophical discussions about teaching, peer observations and practical implementation of new strategies," Blowers wrote in a nomination letter of Kiehlbaugh. "FLC participants engage in meaningful dialogue about the effectiveness of the various approaches that they implement in their courses and provide feedback to one another. Kasi's contributions are significant since many FLC members can easily relate to the challenges of trying new and unfamiliar approaches."

The Margaret M. Briehl and Dennis T. Ray Five Star Faculty Award
Annette Joseph-Gabriel, assistant professor in the Department of French and Italian

The Five Star Faculty Award, sponsored by the Honors College, was established in 1983 and is the only University-wide teaching award bestowed by undergraduates. 

Joseph-Gabriel was chosen for this award in recognition of her efforts to engage her students and encourage them to look at learning and the world. Her teaching includes traditional lectures and discussion as well as engaging online assignments that foster creativity. Student nominations described Joseph-Gabriel as extraordinary, inspiring and passionate.

The award comes with a $1,000 prize.

Henry and Phyllis Koffler Prize in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity
Shufeng Zhang, professor in the Department of Physics

Zhang was selected for the award in recognition of major contributions to his field. He is known as one of the leading global intellects advancing the field of spinotronics, which is the study of electrons and behaviors in magnetic metals.

He helped develop the first quantum mechanical theory of giant magnetoresistance and has published more than 120 papers, with almost 12,000 citations of his papers. In 2005, Zhang was elected as a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Graduate and Professional Education Teaching and Mentoring Awards
Joseph Galaskiewicz, professor in the School of Sociology

Edward Kerschen, professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

The Graduate and Professional Education Teaching and Mentoring Awards honor faculty who excel in their teaching and mentoring of graduate students.

Galaskiewicz, an award-winning researcher who has been at the UA since 2001, has served as chair of the faculty and director of graduate studies at the School of Sociology, where he regularly teaches seminars. He also teaches professional development courses to help students improve their skills in dissertation writing, research presentations and public speaking, and he actively seeks funding for his graduate students, some of whom have won doctoral dissertation awards.

Kerschen joined the UA faculty in 1981 after teaching at the University of Cambridge in England. At the UA, he teaches 12 different courses, including those related to aerodynamics and mechanical engineering design.

Kerschen was nominated by Cho Lik Chan, professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. In his nomination letter, he noted Kerschen's support of him when he was a junior faculty member. In a nomination letter, Kevin Ferguson, graduate student, wrote that Kerschen's research and professional activities assist his graduate students in their classrooms, laboratories and professional lives.

The University of Arizona Foundation Leicester and Kathryn Sherrill Creative Teaching Award
Ivy Pike, associate professor in the School of Anthropology

This award recognizes excellence in the art of teaching at all levels but especially the undergraduate level.

Pike is known for her creative and dynamic style of engaging students through student-response systems, case studies, ethnographies and unexpected texts. She also tailors the in-class experience based on the interests of her students.

As a first-generation college graduate, Pike believes in the transformative power of education and uses that experience to drive her teaching. She was crucial in helping to develop the UA’s biological anthropology undergraduate curriculum, which led to the Bachelor of Science in human biology.

The award includes a $2,500 prize and the placement of a plaque in the Donna Swaim Honors Lounge in the Student Union Memorial Center.

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