New teaching awards aim to celebrate exemplary instructors

By News@TheU

New teaching awards aim to celebrate exemplary instructors

By News@TheU
The Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost opened nominations for an inaugural set of teaching awards that will recognize outstanding faculty members.

Educators provide the power of instruction that helps to shape the next generation of leaders for the future. In an effort to celebrate the faculty’s hard work, the Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost has announced an inaugural set of what will be annual Provost’s Teaching Awards to recognize outstanding faculty members who demonstrate the University of Miami’s unwavering commitment to exemplary teaching and student learning as a pillar to student success. These new accolades, together with school- and college-based teaching awards and the Faculty Senate teaching honors (among other recognitions), recognize a faculty member’s strong commitment to this important part of their professional development. 

As part of the Roadmap to Our New Century strategic initiative shaping the educational revolution, Jeffrey Duerk, executive vice president for Academic Affairs and provost, believes that, “exceptional teaching should be valued and faculty should be recognized for their dedication to preparing our students to succeed.”

The provost’s office is accepting nominations for three distinct awards that honor a distinguished record of teaching within an academic year. Each will recognize faculty members who have provided outstanding mentoring to students, used innovative approaches to address pedagogical challenges, and demonstrated commitment to student learning outside of the traditional classroom.

Laura Kohn Wood, dean of the School of Education and Human Development and co-lead of the Platform for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, recognized that an important aspect of advancing excellence in teaching is recognizing and rewarding faculty members who are engaging in outstanding pedagogical practice.

“I am extraordinarily excited for this institution-wide opportunity to formally and significantly acknowledge those in our academy who are engaging in the practice of exceptional teaching,” she said. “Teaching is intellectual work, but it’s also a creative process. The new Provost’s Teaching Awards provide the opportunity to honor the challenging and essential craft of teaching.”

In particular, the Luis Glaser Mentorship Award will recognize a member of the faculty who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to mentoring students. Exceptional mentoring can include offering advice, feedback, guidance, coaching, providing professional opportunities for mentees, or assisting in the development of life skills.

The Innovation in Teaching Award will go to a full-time faculty member or a small team who has overcome a difficult course-related problem with a novel and enduring approach by adopting an innovative aspect. The innovation may be made through technology or involve adopting a new teaching format, a novel engagement with content, the creation of new learning activities, or engagement with external entities. There should be evidence that the innovation made a demonstrable difference in learning outcomes.

Lastly, the Excellence in Experiential Teaching Award will recognize a member of the faculty who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to the student learning process by integrating excellent teaching with opportunities for experiential learning through curricular and co-curricular activities and by actively promoting and guiding learning outside of the classroom.

Up to three faculty members will receive awards in each of the three categories. All full-time faculty members are eligible. Each recognition will come with a formal celebration and a $1,000 fund for purchases supporting the awardee’s work.

Nominations may be submitted by faculty and staff members, undergraduate or graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars. Nominations will be a two-step process. First, nominators will complete a form, which notifies the nominee to provide additional details via a second form. Nominations must be submitted by Wednesday, April 21.

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