The following is a list of the educators receiving the #iteachmsu Educator Award from the College of Education. For more information on these awards, check out the article entitled "#iteachmsu Educator Awards".
Alexandra Lee: Alexandra’s research focuses on the social-psychological processes underpinning achievement motivation specifically implicit theories of intelligence, competence beliefs, and achievement goals. She has taught in the K-12 setting and in a variety of cultural contexts, prior to coming to MSU (in Thailand, Singapore, rural Mississippi, and Denver, CO). As is currently the instructor of record for TE 150 (Reflections on Learning). Alexandra shared her teaching expertise and enthusiasm at a recent Lunch and Learn session with Graduate Teaching Assistants at MSU. Those in attendance really enjoyed learning from her and her expertise. We hope to have Alexandra share more of her great work in the teaching space for all those interested in teaching.
Lori Bruner: For always having my back! For being patient and flexible when I was diagnosed with arthritis. For teaching me how to be organized and new technology tricks. For being a great leader and mentor to other graduate and undergraduate students! Thank you for being there and helping me with teaching tasks when I needed it the most!
Eliana Castro: In addition to being an incredible, brilliant scholar and a devoted, compassionate teacher educator, Eliana Castro is a generous, contributing citizen in our Department. She provides invaluable service in myriad ways: mentoring other doctoral students, serving on a search committee for a new social studies colleague, helping to recruit incoming doctoral students, among many other ways. She is also a warm, kind person of whom we are all so proud. Thank you, Eliana!
Marilyn Amey: I cannot say enough positive things about Dr. Amey. After taking one of her doctoral courses as a part of my PhD electives, I asked Marilyn to be the chair of my dissertation committee (and while the HALE department is filled with talented educators - I feel this was one of the best decisions of my doctoral career). Not only is Marilyn competent in her field and extremely knowledgeable, she is a fantastic educator who creates spaces where learning happens in multiple directions. She is kind, compassionate, and thoughtful - all things she demonstrates as my committee advisor and as a departmental leader. There are few people who have recognized and accommodated me as a "whole person" (with things in my life outside of school), and I will feel forever indebted to her for that. MSU needs more faculty, administrators, and educators like Dr. Marilyn Amey!
Courtney Kosloski: Courtney truly has "the backs" of the graduate students in the HALE Department. Every time I interact with her she is professional and kind in helping answer questions and connect me with relevant resources. She keeps students' best interests in mind and takes it upon herself to reach out when better supports can be accessed. She's a wonderful person, and an asset to HALE and MSU.
Mallory Weiner: Mallory is my co-instructor in ANR 310. This class is unique in that our students come in with a blank syllabus and they create one from scratch, deciding what they want to learn, how they want to learn, and how they want to assess their learning. Mallory has been instrumental in supporting the learning of our students by preparing them to become self-directed learners with the capacity to practice democratic decision making. It isn't easy for a student who is a peer to the students in her class to take on the responsibility of instructor, but Mallory wears the crown with ease. She is an excellent communicator, the ideal partner who doesn't hesitate to take action when necessary, and a supportive co-learner. I'm proud to know that she will be educating the next generation of learners in K12 classrooms beginning next year.
Austin Wellette-Hunsucker: Austin regularly goes above and beyond his duties as a graduate teaching assistant. Not only does he provide tremendous support to the instructor, but he is always willing to go the extra mile for the students. I appreciate his time and effort with the students and the course, and am thankful for his assistance this semester.
Taren Going: Taren worked with me as a TA for my TE 407 course. As a 5 credit course, the work is demanding - there are 5 hours of lab per week and 3 hours of seminar. Taren showed tireless dedication to students' success in the course. Her primary responsibilities were to support students' work in their labs, but she often attended seminar to help her understand the core ideas of TE 407 and support students' learning from the lab. She also regularly sought feedback on her performance as a TA because of her genuine concern for students' learning. I could trust Taren to seek help when she needed it. Taren inspires others to work hard and be their best, and I am so grateful she gave so much of her talents and energy to this course.
Juan Mascorro-Guerrero: I appreciate Juan because he is our graduate advisor for culturas de las razas unidas outside of helping us with our roles on e board he always offers to help us with applications for scholarships, finding internships, or just provides us a space to talk. Juan is an assistant community director in Wilson Hall , he has a busy schedule but never fails to provide support and help those around him. Juan is the true definition of Latino/Latinx Excellence.
Terry Edwards: Terry Edwards is the rock that anchors the TE department. I thanked her last year but that is not enough, not nearly enough for all that she does in the department. Over this semester, Terry has helped me and several other doctoral students in numerous ways. She is always making sure that the doctoral students are thriving--physically and mentally. She ensures to talk to everyone and showers us with affirmations, love, and praise. I am grateful for Terry and also recognize that she does a lot of the emotional and physical work of supporting doctoral students. Terry's commitment is not merely about her role but a much deeper commitment, a commitment that is about creating a space that is welcoming to all and one where everyone feels seen and heard. She has helped me track down packages that are lost. She brought a sewing machine off craigslist because some of us wanted to use it for our work. She plays a crucial role in organizing a department potluck. She is always advocating for us. And no matter what issue you are facing, Terry will do her best to help you find a solution. We are so grateful for Terry and everything she does for us.
Olivia Furman: I (Naseeb) entered into community with Olivia through WOCI, which she co-leads. Last Fall, Olivia worked with an MSU alumnus, Shakara Tyler, to promote a nature centered self-care program, where folx were able to engage in forest walks, soil meditation, and herbal foraging. As a first-year Ph.D. student, I have tremendously valued Olivia’s commitment to addressing the isolation graduate students often experience through holistic wellness practices. Most notably, Olivia has modeled for me how to leverage research to support the wellness of communities our inquiry is based upon. For example, I had the opportunity to engage in an educational research methods course with Olivia this past fall. Despite the overwhelming valuation of quantitative methods in educational inquiry, Olivia drew upon bell hooks, Audre Lorde, the Combahee River Collective and other Black womxn feminisms, as well as her professional experiences with K-12 teaching, to weave together arts-based research methods with Black feminist epistemologies to explore how Black girls experience schooling. She was met with subtle, and sometimes direct, resistance from the course peers who failed to see the transformative and community-based nature of her methodological position. Despite this, she actively pursued her arts-based research agenda, refusing to spend time justifying her methodological decisions and instead carried out her efforts with integrity and creativity. As a non-Black WOC, I have valued Olivia’s leadership example in leveraging the critical practices of wellness found in Black and Brown communities (e.g. quilts, knitting, and ceramics) to reform teaching and learning practices at MSU.
Kristi Lowrie: Kristi is an integral part of the TE department and has supported doctoral students tirelessly! She has been pivotal in me having a successful semester. Kristi is always willing to help and goes above and beyond to find resources/solutions. Several times when I walked into her office with a challenge/issue she would drop everything else and help me figure things out. I appreciate Kristi and her relentless support for doctoral students in the program. Thank you, Kristi!
Sheila Orr: In her first year, Sheila has contributed extensively not only to the improvement of secondary mathematics methods courses in teacher education but also to the success of my NSF UTEMPT project. In only a few short months "on the job," Sheila conducted independent analyses of new data for the project and took the lead in presenting this data at a national conference in Pheonix in February. She also went beyond in her role to shadow TE 407, the first mathematics methods course for prospective secondary mathematics teachers (PSTs), by taking the lead in several sessions to help PSTs try out new mathematics teaching practices. I continue to be impressed not only by her passion and drive for learning to teach future teachers, but also by her engagement with improving MSU's coursework, in concert with innovations supported by the UTEMPT project, to better support PSTs' learning.
Teacher Education Undergraduate Staff: The undergraduate students working for the TE department are integral to the success of doctoral students. We are deeply appreciative of their hardwork and support. They are always willing to support us with crucial tasks--supplies, scans, photocopies, etc. Even though several of the students are not in the TE program, they go above and beyond to understand the needs of doctoral students and willing to support us. I have also learned a great deal from each of them about their respective fields and appreciate how they brighten up the department with their indomitable spirit! Thank you all for your work.
Dr. Amey’s HALE Graduate Students: Students with whom I work most closely are all adult learners with very complex lives during these difficult times. They are eldercare providers, researchers whose studies have been totally interrupted as they neared completion of dissertations, those hoping for employment next year on and off campus now on hold due to hiring chills and freezes, those who have to find ways to focus on class while becoming homeschool teachers, and those who have put up my constantly shifting schedule of an academic administrator. Yet, they continue to show up to meet with me on zoom and email, inspire through their insights and leadership in these challenging times, find ways to bolster each other in virtual writing groups, and make it clear that postsecondary education will be in good hands. They remind me why I wanted to be a faculty member and are my motivation every day. Thank you isn't enough to each of them.
Anyone can recognize a fellow Spartan for their contributions to MSU's teaching and learning mission or for how they made a lasting impression on your experience. All you have to do is click "Thank an Educator" in the left panel of iteach.msu.edu. From there you'll be directed to a form where you can enter the name, netID, and a short story of the educator you'd like to recognize.