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Annual Faculty Recognition Awards program honors teaching excellence

April 30, 2012

Sara Miller
(315) 443-9038

At the annual Faculty Awards Recognition event held recently at Goldstein Alumni & Faculty Center, Chancellor Nancy Cantor and Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric Spina congratulated the winners of the 2011-12 University teaching awards, including the 2012 Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professorships for Teaching Excellence, the 2011-12 Teaching Recognition Awards and the 2012 United Methodist Scholar Teacher of the Year.

A substantial bequest from the estate of L. Douglas Meredith, a 1926 graduate of The College of Arts and Sciences, allowed for the creation of the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professorships in 1995 to recognize and reward outstanding teaching at the University. The awards recognize and reward excellence in teaching, encourage faculty members to look upon the many dimensions of teaching as manifold opportunities for constant improvement, emphasize the great importance the University places upon teaching and improve the teaching and learning processes on campus. The Meredith Professors receive a supplementary salary award and an additional fund for professional development for each year of their appointment.

Presented this year by Meredith Professor Kristi Anderson of the Maxwell School, the 2012 Meredith Professorships for Teaching Excellence were awarded to Burak Kazaz, associate professor of supply chain management in the Whitman School of Management, and Jonathan Massey, associate professor in the School of Architecture.

KazazKazaz is recognized for innovating the teaching of supply chain management (SCM), and is the first professor from the Whitman School to earn the Meredith Professor Award honor. Kazaz—also a Whitman Teaching Fellow—received the Whitman School’s first ever Teaching Innovation Award in 2011, and teaches M.B.A. and doctoral classes in addition to his undergraduate supply chain management courses. 

One of the undergraduate teaching tools he developed to bring to life introductory SCM coursework is "The Mambo." Surmising that while students may not get excited about inventory planning, but they can care about people and the relatable challenges individuals face, Kazaz wrote "The Mambo" as eight integrated short stories with characters students can care about. Students receive pictures of these business-world characters and learn their names, hobbies and about their lives as the book traces the weekly meetings when the characters come together to take a Latin dance class. Students put themselves in the roles of the characters to solve SCM challenges, with each chapter building off the last to demonstrate how the supply chain—like the world—is interconnected. As a departure from traditional b-school case studies, "The Mambo" is cited again and again by students as a key to their enjoyment and success in SCM studies. 

"My teaching philosophy focuses on illustrating to students how supply chain management–the science of managing the flow of goods–is about more than math. It is about people," says Kazaz. 

His Meredith project proposal is “Accelerate SU–Growing and Sustaining Your Start-up!” a course that will help Central New York startups accelerate their growth into a healthy, sustainable business.

Massey is an architect and historian who came to the School of Architecture in 2001 after practicing and teaching in Los Angeles and New York. Since then, he has become well known for his dedication to teaching and mentoring, which were recognized in 2004 with a Meredith Teaching Recognition Award.

MasseyHis teaching focuses on helping students address big questions: How does the built environment mediate power? How can design promote the public good? How does change happen? Massey partners with his students to find the best fit between their goals and the objectives of the course and curriculum, so that each course becomes a mutually rewarding undertaking.

"As much as possible, I craft assignments that challenge students to conduct research that goes beyond course material," says Massey. "In mid-sized lecture courses and smaller seminars, I use the buildings, landscapes and document collections of Syracuse and its region as a set of archives for students to explore. I encourage students to aim their work not only at me, but also at one another and at broader audiences so that their coursework begins to feed back into communities beyond the classroom."

Massey’s Meredith project stems from his teaching, his administrative work chairing the bachelor of architecture program (2007-11) and two previous pedagogy initiatives. With colleagues in architecture and the Humanities Center, Massey initiated the Transdisciplinary Media Studio, which used digital media and the design studio as media for collaborations in teaching and learning across disciplines. With Museum of Modern Art curator Barry Bergdoll and the Special Collections Research Center at SU Library, he led students in curating an exhibition drawing on the archive of Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer.

His Meredith project, "Learning through Engaged Urban History Research," will connect students with faculty, scholars and community members to investigate the urban history of upstate New York since the New Deal. Massey hopes to launch a campus-wide conversation about the making of metropolitan America and publish the resulting work as a historical atlas of the Erie Canal Corridor.

2011-12 Teaching Recognition Awards

The Teaching Recognition Awards program was established in 2001 through an expansion of the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professorship Program. The Meredith Professors themselves proposed that the Teaching Recognition Award program recognize excellence in teaching by non-tenured faculty and adjunct and part-time instructors. Recipients are selected for teaching innovation, effectiveness in communicating with students and the lasting value of courses.

To be eligible, candidates must have completed two years of service to the University and not yet received tenure. Each recipient is given $3,000 to further his or her professional development.

The 2011-12 Teaching Recognition Awards were presented by Meredith Professor Helen Doerr of The College of Arts & Sciences.

Courtney Barclay
Assistant professor of communications in the Newhouse School

A self-identified "law geek," Barclay engages her media law classes by bringing new enthusiasm for the content, and making the course material clearly relevant for students' career ambitions. She has transformed both undergraduate and graduate media law classes into challenging, yet deeply engaging experience for students by integrating a variety of multimedia tools and projects into the classroom.

Making media law relevant to a broad range of communications students is a challenge, but Barclay accomplishes this through the use of current events, clips and professional speakers, including a class discussion via Skype with a nationally renowned First Amendment attorney.

She also effectively teaches the mandatory introductory "Communications and Society" course, which requires a broad knowledge of many mass media industries.

Jean-François Bédard
Associate professor in the School of Architecture
As an instructor, Bédard has taught in the undergraduate and graduate professional degree programs at both the intro and upper-levels. His ability to reach and inspire beginning and advanced students is well-known. As an architect and historian, he is able to draw upon his extensive knowledge of architecture, design, construction, philosophy, science, politics, rhetoric and culture to make his rigorous classes among the most stimulating and popular.

Bédard uses a mix of technologies in the classroom that reflects his acute awareness of new information and instructional tools, as well as a heightened sensitivity to how architects learn.

Janet Ford
Assistant professor of practice of communication sciences & disorders in The College of Arts & Sciences
Ford is an instructor, as well as director of the Gebbie Speech-Language Clinic. Her instructional contributions include classroom teaching, clinical education and research mentoring.

Ford teaches a wide variety of both undergraduate and master's level classes, with some classes containing both levels of students. She expects a lot from her students, but also engenders in them the confidence to meet curricular expectations. Throughout all of her classes, students note Ford's instructional videos that accompany both clinical and research-based information—videos that require dedicated time and effort to make.

Ford also brings in alumni as presenters. These alumni often refer to what they have learned from Ford, demonstrating her lasting effect on her students' careers.

Suzanne Lysak
Assistant professor of broadcast & digital journalism in the Newhouse School
Lysak treats her classes like professional newsroom settings and draws into her teaching more than 20 years of serving as reporter, anchor, producer, executive producer and news director in both small and the largest media markets.

She teaches her journalism students to ask questions, think critically and stay well-read in the process of learning the reporting, editing and new media skills needed for the changing media industry. She also regularly uses media professionals in the classroom—and via Skype—to provide current insight into the world of media, as well as to introduce students to professional connections for life after college.

Alexander McKelvie
Assistant professor of entrepreneurship & emerging enterprises (EEE) in the Whitman School
McKelvie, who also is a Kauffman Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, was the Whitman School’s Outstanding Entrepreneurship Educator in 2011 and was the recipient of the Guttag Junior Faculty Award for 2010-2012.

His teaching reflects his innovative approaches to entrepreneurship coursework. He helped refine the EEE major course offerings, including writing new cases, readings and assignments for Whitman's intro EEE course; developing new courses on corporate entrepreneurship and global entrepreneurship; and helping to advance a mandatory business planning course.

He also developed new online courses for Operation Endure & Grow, part of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), and teaches in the V-WISE program and EBV-Families program for IVMF.

Catherine Nock
Instructor of languages, literatures & linguistics in Arts & Sciences

Nock has introduced varied and intriguing courses to the LLL program—including an honors class on the U.S.-Mexico border, and various levels of Spanish language and literature classes—that seamlessly connect community, culture and academics. She brings her LLL students into the Syracuse city schools to immediately use the Spanish skills they have learned in class, and teaches them that being culturally literate and linguistically competent is an essential life skill.

The "Conversacion en Contexto" program with Bellevue Middle School pairs SU students with Spanish-speaking seventh and eighth graders for conversations and interviews. The middle school students also come to campus to sit along-side the SU students in a Spanish class and tour campus.

Nock also focuses her students on the learning and cultural opportunities in the community by helping them attend Spanish theater performances and poetry readings after studying the works of authors, and by regularly attending exhibits at the Community Folk Art Center, Point of Contact Gallery and the SUArt Galleries.

Karina von Tippelskirch
Assistant professor of languages, literatures & linguistics in Arts and Sciences

Tippelskirch is recognized for her tremendous dedication to her students and a tireless commitment to the German language, and the variety of classes she offers within the program. She dedicates a lot of additional attention to students studying German through support and mentoring outside of the classroom, and is noted for creating an in-class learning environment that is positive and respectful—an asset to students mastering a complex language.

She reinstated the German Honor Society at SU, and inaugurated the German Cultural Society as an officially recognized student organization on campus. She has also networked with local companies and organizations to make available to students greater cultural, academic and professional opportunities to complement their studies.

2012 United Methodist Scholar Teacher of the Year

Claudia Miller, professor of mathematics in Arts & Sciences, was awarded the United Methodist Scholar-Teacher of the Year Award. She was introduced by Gerry Greenberg, senior associate dean in The College of Arts & Sciences.

She began as associate professor in the Department of Mathematics in 2003 and was promoted to full professor in 2011. She teaches and researches algebra, with a special focus on commutative algebra, and her research activity is highly recognized by the mathematical community nationwide.

She frequently delivers invited talks at conferences, and organizes seminars and colloquia, all of which confirm her status as a mature mathematician, while linking the University to the larger world by bringing to her students the most advanced thinking and creative global perspectives. It is the balance of national research and effective teaching that distinguishes Miller's scholarly contributions to the University.

She contributes constant energy and attention to her students and to the development of extracurricular work for their learning. Because of this, it is easy to see through her interaction with students the union of scholarship and learning.

Miller is very involved with Pi Mu Epsilon New York Alpha Chapter at SU, which is the national mathematics honor society aimed at promoting scholarly activity in mathematics among students at colleges and universities across the country. Miller resurrected SU's PME chapter in 2004 and continues to serve as faculty adviser for PME students. Under her guidance, PME functions also as a math club, with events open to everyone. The club gives undergraduate math majors—and those interested in math—a community to which to belong and has been an asset for the math program.

Most notably, Miller has was instrumental in SU math majors participating in the national Putnam Exam—the famously challenging undergraduate math competition in the United States. Miller helped usher in a new era for the Department of Mathematics to have representation at this prestigious event by organizing and mentoring students, helping them register and administering the exam.

Miller also gives a lot of attention to diversity in the study of mathematics, and the STEM fields in general. Among her efforts, she organizes weekly coffee time with the female math graduate students to give them a mentor and role model, while also providing a time for group discussion and questions.

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