Although the services they render in helping to shape the next generation of leaders are far-reaching and priceless, educators aren’t drawn to a career in teaching expecting to get wealthy, University of New Orleans Provost Mahyar Amouzegar said during a ceremony honoring three faculty members for outstanding work.
“I think all of us are here, not for personal gain, it’s really because we care,” Amouzegar said. “We care about our community, we care about our campus, we care about our students, we care about our colleagues and it shows.”
Tuesday’s ceremony at the Earl K. Long Library was the second year for the Faculty Excellence Awards established by Academic Affairs to recognize faculty members in two categories: Excellence in Mentoring and Excellence in Teaching and Teaching Innovation. The awards include a $5,000 prize.
The award recipients were Jerome Howard, Andrea Mosterman, and John Horne.
Howard, associate professor in biological sciences, received the mentoring award.
Howard created the summer STEM Scholars Program, and has an “affinity” for connecting with students and helping steer them to success, said Steven Johnson, College of Science dean.
The STEM camp, funded in part by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is an intensive six-day residential program aimed at boosting the academic readiness of incoming freshmen who have chosen to pursue majors in science, technology, engineering and math.
Howard researched the idea and now facilitates the camp, which completed its fourth year at the University last summer.
“He’s done a phenomenal job in mentoring through the STEM Scholars HHMI camp,” Johnson said in presenting the award to Howard.
Johnson also presented one of the two awards for teaching excellence and innovation to Horne, a professor of professional practice in biological sciences.
Johnson said Horne’s active learning methods has helped improve student success rates in introductory science courses that tend to be challenging.
“He cares about innovation in teaching and he has done a fabulous job in the HHMI grant,” Johnson said. “His approach has really excited students and allowed them to succeed.”
Kim Martin Long, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Education and Human Development, wished she’d had a history professor like Mosterman who she said believes in “active and engaged learning.”
Mosterman, an associate professor in the department of history and philosophy, also received the faculty excellence in teaching and teaching innovation award.
Mosterman doesn’t just lecture about history, but requires her students to seek out historical places around their neighborhood and produce presentations based on their own research, Long said in making the award presentation.
“This method of visualizing the topics that she is teaching, helps to bring the topics to life and ensure that students know how to research, analyze, discuss with others and present visually sometimes very complex topics,” Long said. “Skills that … transfer to jobs and life.”
Mosterman also allows students “voice and choice” in content, Long said. Students can propose their own historical topics, and with justification, Mosterman incorporates that into the syllabus.
“In these ways history does continue to live and these students are able to understand how important understanding our present time period is in knowing their history,” Long said.