First-Year Odyssey Teaching Awards
The First-Year Odyssey Teaching Award recognizes outstanding instructors who have demonstrated creativity or innovation in instruction, connection of seminar content to their research and incorporation of FYOS program goals into the seminar.
Grace Ahn is an associate professor of advertising in the Grady College. Her seminar, “Harnessing the Power of Digital Technology for Better Lifestyle Choices,” teaches students about the marvels of technology, how digital technology has shifted the rules of communication and social interaction in their everyday lives and how they can harness the power of digital technology to make more informed choices in their future careers.
Jeffrey Berejikian is a Meigs Professor in the international affairs department in the School of Public and International Affairs. His seminar “Foreign Policy and Neuroscience” introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of international affairs. It is organized around the premise that the cognitive processes shaping the decisions of governments on the “big issues” in international politics also affect the choices people make in their everyday lives.
Todd Callaway is an assistant professor in the animal and dairy science department in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. His seminar “Poo and You: Microbes, Our Animals and a Safe Food Supply” helps students learn how food-borne and environmental pathogens and antibiotic resistant organisms reach people. He challenges preconceptions of the relationship between humans and microbes and discusses issues surrounding food production.
Cesar Escalante is a professor in the agricultural and applied economics department in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. His seminar “Social Issues in Agricultural Finance—from Racial and Gender Biases, to Immigration Policies and Microfinance” introduces students to the plight of socially and financially disadvantaged farmers in local and global business operating environments.
Adam Milewski is an associate professor in the geology department in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. In his FYO seminar “Water: The Most Important Resource of the World,” students learn the physical processes governing the distribution of water on Earth, the unique properties of water, the role humans play in altering these resources and methods for water resource analysis. He engages his students through hands-on activities.
Doris Miller is a professor of veterinary pathology in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Her seminar “Animal Forensic CSI” provides a hands-on interactive approach to teaching and student learning. She was nominated by a current veterinary student who praised Miller for her interest in her students. Because of the small class size, the student was able to get to know Miller, who helped navigate her toward research, veterinary pathology and veterinary school.
—Tracy N. Coley
Creative Teaching Awards
Presented annually on behalf of the Office of Instruction, the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Office of the Provost, the Creative Teaching Award recognizes UGA faculty for excellence in developing and implementing creative teaching methods to improve student learning.
Joseph Goetz, associate professor in financial planning, housing and consumer economics, fosters student engagement creatively through experiential learning. He developed the ASPIRE Clinic, a teaching center that is the first of its kind in the country, through which he created the nation’s first clinical practicum, service-learning course in financial planning. Under his direct supervision during the past seven years, more than 120 students have provided more than 1,000 sessions of pro bono financial planning and counseling services to more than 400 couples or individuals from the local community. Students are actively engaged in all the steps of the financial planning process and receive regular feedback from their peers and Goetz.
Keith Herndon, professor of practice in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, has engaged nearly 200 students since 2013 through two highly successful extracurricular programs to help them become better prepared to tackle real-world changes in an ever-changing media market. Each year, 18 Grady Mobile News Lab students experiment with new video editing technologies using virtual reality with funding Herndon secured from the National Association of Broadcasters. Another 15 faculty-nominated students in the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation gain career perspectives each year through eight weeks of training and reflection on conflict resolution and decision making, as well as leadership in the context of a chaotic news media.
Mark W. Huber, senior lecturer in management information systems, created a unique approach to teaching his MIST 5770 Information Security Management course, offered every semester to 35 undergraduates. Huber integrates custom cases with a flipped classroom approach, weekly involvement by practicing experts from industry and a final case competition sponsored by PricewatershouseCoopers, LLC. Cases, associated presentations and remote call-in meetings provide “realistic” in-class experiences to facilitate a deeper understanding of concepts and to foster critical thinking. The challenge of managing meetings and providing consulting advice to clients, who sometimes are intentionally difficult, is an invaluable experience for students.
Sarah Shannon, assistant professor in the department of sociology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, launched her SOCI4470S service-learning course, the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, in collaboration with the local Clarke County Sheriff’s Office, to exchange ideas and perceptions about crime and justice, the criminal justice system and imprisonment, from both personal and psychological perspectives. One student called the class “the most meaningful academic and social experience of my time at UGA.” An incarcerated participant likewise reflected on the course’s impact, saying “Inside-Out has given me some hope that positive change may eventually seep into the criminal justice system.”
—Tracy N. Coley