College of Social Science 2020 #iteachmsu Educator Award Recipients

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College of Social Science 2020 #iteachmsu Educator Award Recipients

College of Social Science 2020 #iteachmsu Educator Award Recipients

The following is a list of the educators receiving the #iteachmsu Educator Award from the College of Social Science. For more information on these awards, check out the article entitled "#iteachmsu Educator Awards".

Amanda Kreuze: Amanda is appointed as the instructor of the online version of ISS310: People & the Environment for the Spring Semester 2020. As the course administrator and coordinator, I could not do my job without a highly motivated and knowledgeable person like Amanda in that role. She truly cares for her students and does her best to make sure that they are not only successful, but also that their online experience in People & the Environment is positive. The situation that students (and instructors) now find themselves in is unfathomable in many regards, but Amanda continues to do all that she can to provide a safe and positive online environment for students to learn. Thank you Amanda for all that you do for onGEO and your students!


Ida Djenontin: In addition to maintaining high performance on her own work, Ida has been a great support to both me and students in her role as TA for two of my classes this Spring! She has done a yeoman job with grading, but more importantly, has taken many other steps to get to know the undergrad students and to help with management. These have been crucial in helping us all successfully navigate the transition to 'remote' instruction. I deeply appreciate her work ethic and positive demeanor.


Rajiv Paudel: We would like to recognize Rajiv Paudel, graduate student in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences, for his unwavering understanding and compassion through an unprecedented semester. Rajiv is teaching GEO325 (Geographic Information Systems) for the Department this spring and found himself responsible for transitioning 42 students through a swift transition to remote learning. Throughout this transition, Rajiv has been concerned for his students and their situations, in and out of the virtual classroom. Rajiv has been willing to work individually with students to remedy technical challenges with the fully online labs and repeatedly put his students first. The onGEO group is grateful for all that you do, Rajiv!


Aaron Luedtke: Aaron is one of those exceptional graduate students who devotes a tremendous amount of energy on being one of the best teachers in our department. Aaron received the Harry Brown Graduate Fellowship for Academic Excellence from our department in 2019 and had previously received the Fred Williams Graduate Award for teaching in 2018. This year, he was again nominated for the Somers teaching Award in IAH. Academically and intellectually, Aaron is an outstanding student with numerous fellowships and awards. He received a short-term dissertation fellowship from the D'Arcy McNickle Center at Chicago's Newberry Library and the Everett Helm Visiting Fellowship from the Lily Library at Indiana University. His article on Indigenous communities in the Great Lakes will be published in the forthcoming collection, The Northern Midwest and the US-Canada Borderlands: Essays on a Lost Region, in 2020.


Steve Anderson: Steve has been a teaching assistant for one of our department's largest courses--Introduction to Comparative Politics--for several semesters. Given the number of students and the nature of the assignments, this is not an easy job, and Steve always performs beyond expectations. He provides quick, careful, and helpful feedback to students on their work, and he is careful and reliable. Our students are lucky to have him as a teacher, and I'm lucky to have him as an assistant!


Kesicia Dickinson: Kesicia is so smart, kind, and respectful. She is inclusive and strong and serves as a mentor to our newest students of color. She is constantly empowering other students who feel out of place in the academy and creating space for them to shine. When some students -- especially her more junior peers of color – feel isolated and feel imposter syndrome, she goes out of her way to remind them that they have earned their space in the discipline and reminds them that they have so much to contribute. Our department is trying so hard to build a minority politics initiative, and without Kesicia and her persistence, encouragement, and participation, we would be a much worse group and department. She kills people with kindness, is genuine, constructive, and empowering. I am so proud to have her as a student in the discipline. I have yet to meet someone as inclusive and encouraging as Kesicia.


Natasha Fowler: I’d like to give a huge shout out to Natasha for being an amazing mentor this year! She’s been helping me with my UURAF poster, and I have learned so much from her. From the background science to the research process as a whole, Natasha has played a crucial part in my learning. The process of researching, making, and presenting this poster to the lab has been an amazing experience overall and I couldn’t have done it without Natasha. Thank you so much for your help, patience, and enthusiasm Natasha!


Megan Mikhail: Megan, I'm so happy you are in our lab! I so enjoy when you present and teach in our lab meetings, you make the science so easy to understand and also so engaging. You are clearly passionate about your work and it is so awesome to see. I always appreciate your insights as well, you offer such constructive and thoughtful input into research discussions. You're a joy to work with!


Nafiseh Haghtalab: Nafiseh is appointed as the instructor of the online version of GEO204: World Regional Geography for Spring Semester 2020. These are unparalleled times for our world, students and the University alike and Nafiseh has done all that she can to help students continue to be successful in the course amidst a new, and often more complicated, set of circumstances. I sincerely appreciate Nafiseh for her dedication to teaching the online course and supporting her students; having Nafiseh as an instructor has made my job as the course’s administrator and coordinator that much easier and more enjoyable. Thank you Nafiseh for all that you do for onGEO and your students!

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 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.

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Makena Neal #iteachmsu Educator Awards
#educator awards #thank an educator