Assistant Professor Syamak Moattari, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Health Sciences Department and Assistant Professor Timothy Murphy, Ph.D., of the Urban Studies Department received the 2019 George I. Alden Excellence in Teaching Award in recognition of their exceptional teaching, scholarship, and leadership. This honor was presented to them at the Employee Service Recognition and Retirement Celebration, held on Wednesday, May 8.
The Center for Teaching and Learning created the George I. Alden Excellence in Teaching Awards to provide the University with the opportunity to publicly acknowledge professors who have made a difference in students’ lives through their teaching excellence.
Both professors were praised for their respect of students as well as their innovative pedagogical techniques for student engagement.
Moattari’s “passion for teaching comes across clearly in the warm and welcoming classroom atmosphere he provides for all students,” said Provost Lois Wims, Ph.D. “He fosters an environment in which to discuss complicated issues, while also leading students to recognize and cherish differences.”
Wims recognized Moattari’s uses of participatory learning and action methodology to create a classroom that not only builds a sense of community, but results in a positive and challenging learning environment.
Murphy uses different strategies to bring the world into his classroom and, “instills wonder in students in an effort to foster higher-order thinking and encourage students to employ the anthropological concept of ‘making the strange familiar and the familiar strange,’” said Wims.
Wims also added that Murphy’s office serves as a designated Safe Space on campus and his “overall demeanor and clear respect for his students make him a coveted professor.”
Awards honoring adjunct professors were also presented. Steven Corvi of the Department of History and Political Science and Gary Hagenbuch of the Department of Education received the Adjunct Excellence in Teaching Awards. Peter Marton of the Department of Philosophy and Elena Zaretsky of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, were awarded Adjunct Research and Creativity Awards.