College of Natural Science 2021 #iteachmsu Educator Award Recipients

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College of Natural Science 2021 #iteachmsu Educator Award Recipients

College of Natural Science 2021 #iteachmsu Educator Award Recipients

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

Gabe Ording: Gabe has been an amazing leader, both before and now during the pandemic. He has worked for a decade to build community in the unit, is always willing to talk and seek creative solutions for problems, and was forward thinking when the pandemic forced us to go remote last spring. In fact, he had prepared CISGS for the possibility of remote teaching by hosting THREE learning sessions before MSU officially went online. This meant that many colleagues were prepared for the transition and that we had already begun critical conversations needed for effective movement to online work. He is similarly bringing people together to discuss challenges and successes in the online classroom this Fall, has worked to ensure any face-to-face instruction is safe for everyone, and is generally an inspiration. Prior to this, his work was instrumental in ensuring that all of the integrative studies centers were working together to collect assessment data to evidence efficacy. Gabe's students also value him as much as his colleagues!

Rachel Morris: Dr. Rachel Morris has worked to expand her knowledge and experience in online pedagogy and has been a great resource and mentor during the pandemic. During FS2020, MSU added access to Labster. Dr. Morris kept BLD up to date on the availability of Labster and offered her assistance to faculty. Dr. Morris carries a significant teaching load, has committee responsibilities at MSU and in our professional society, is an Academic Advisor, and serves as our Graduate Program Director. She is readily available to colleagues for questions and mentoring.

Rupali Das: Dr. Das always goes above and beyond for her students. Her focus is not only limited to her student's understanding the material she is teaching and extends to concern for their overall well being. Her passion for science in infectious and it is amply evident that her regard for her student's interests is paramount! She deserves every recognition for all the hard-work she puts into her science and into her students' growth as competent professionals and robust scientists!

Casey Henley: I appreciate your dedication to your students, colleagues, and the institution. You are a great advocate for continued improvement in teaching and learning and is illustrated with your leadership. 

Stephen Thomas: Stephen Thomas is one of the best educators I know of. Not only is he smart, skilled and knowledgeable, but he is a genuinely caring person who does everything in his power to help students and colleagues be their very best. He works daily to be remarkable in his work as an educator and then he goes the extra mile to help other educators become great in their own right also. In every interaction and collaboration I am lucky enough to have with Stephen, I always come away more inspired, empowered, readied and prepared to face the next big design challenge in education. Thank you, Stephen Thomas, for all you do as a leader-educator at Michigan State University. 

Saul Beceiro Novo: I met Saul through the 2019-20 Adams Academy facilitated by the Academic Advancement Network. From the moment I heard Saul reflect on his experiences making his disciplinary content more accessible and enjoyable to individuals new to the field - I knew I wanted to pay attention to his educator practices. In my experience, he shows great care for learners and colleagues alike, is dedicated to crafting positive and high impact learning experiences, and achieving learning outcomes in innovative and creative ways! Keep an eye on Saul. He's a great educator, doing cool things!

Ashley Dunn: In a very challenging semester, Ashley committed to helping me with ANS 300E, animal welfare judging. She served as both a ULA, an assistant coach for the judging team, and in both roles was a huge help to me. She came to each class prepared, thoughtful and ready to support the students and instructor. In her role as a ULA, Ashley created a mock welfare scenario for the students and monitored their fact sheet submissions providing valuable practice and important feedback to the students. With such a trying semester for me, the quality of this course would have suffered had it not been for Ashley. A million times over, thank you. 

Julia Hinds: Julia is just the best. This has been a very hard semester in many ways and she has been a support all along. She always goes above and beyond every step of the way and makes everyone else’s life easier. I learn from her every time we meet :)

Nick Rekuski: Nick is passionate about teaching and he is not afraid to take on new challenges. He has taught an extraordinarily wide variety of courses, ranging from MTH 101 (Quantitative Literacy I) to MTH 309 (Linear Algebra). Nick has excelled in his work with students at all levels of undergraduate mathematics – both students who have intense math anxiety and students who love mathematics and intend to major in it. Nick approaches each student as an individual, gets to know them from the first day of class, and creates a community where each feels welcome and is comfortable to contribute to the class discussions.

Cole McCutcheon: Cole is an outstanding person. He exemplifies what it means to be a graduate student: incredibly hard working, determined, stubborn, unwilling to give up, and absolutely tenacious in tackling tough problems. Cole is also an excellent teacher and mentor; he approaches teaching situations with grace and care, ensuring that his students understand and synthesize the concepts at hand. I'm so glad that I get to work and laugh and teach with Cole.

Teresa Panurach

  1. I appreciate Teresa and her plethora of positive practices, as well as her commitment to excellence in mentoring others. She is an inspiration to us all and deserves a raise.
  1. Thank you, Teresa, for improving the lives of MSU students. Teresa runs a program mentoring Drew scholars who are also astrophysics majors, regularly checking in on them, running workshops, and facilitating research experiences. For many students, she has been a splash of support and joy during a lonely and sad pandemic. Thank you for your generosity and energy!

Camilla Monsalve: Life has been difficult for EVERYONE!  Cami makes it a point to come to my zoom office hours every week to see how I am doing.  While I make sure all 190+ Physics and Astronomy graduates are okay mentally, she makes sure I am okay too!  Warms my heart in so many ways.

Meiqi Liu: Meiqi, a first year Ph.D. student, who has not yet even been able to come to the US and is working with us remotely, has done an outstanding job as a TA, particularly grading for STT 441 and STT 861. The students in those courses are fortunate that she is such a strong TA and so diligent in her work. And we as instructors are extremely grateful. In addition, for myself as a scholar, I am very grateful for Ms. LIU Meiqi's work in helping mentor the work of my team of undergraduate researchers, including helping them with their project, which she has been doing since the very start of her time as a Ph.D. student in STT last Fall. This is far above and beyond the call of duty.

Sarah Manski: Sarah has helped us tremendously to successfully navigate the introductory classes in our department. She's extremely knowledgeable, passionate, and very encouraging. Her ability to work with students is amazing. During these unprecedented times, Sarah has been understanding, calm, and very helpful. She has provided valuable insight throughout the course, helped the ULAs, and supported me in successfully negotiating any challenges we faced during this phase. Apart from her role as a TA, she is involved in her own research, and actively works towards the betterment of our department. She is a role model for new graduate students and especially for the new TAs. Thank You, Sarah!!! 

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 see a short 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