This award, offered through the joint support of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and BP America, provides Georgia Tech with the opportunity to highlight the excellent teaching and educational innovation that junior faculty bring to campus. CTL's goal is to grant up to six $3,000 awards annually, depending on the funding available and the quality of nominations. If an academic unit nominates more than one faculty member, the unit must rank the nominees when providing the nomination packets to the selection committee.
Questions? Contact Joyce Weinsheimer.
- Nomination packets are due by midnight on February 28, 2021.
- Award recipients will be honored at a campus celebration on April 15, 2021.
- Names and nomination packets of the award winners will be posted on the CTL Faculty Award website.
- Names of winners will be added to the Teaching Awards wall located in the Clough Undergraduate Commons.
- Candidates must be full-time tenure-track faculty members who do not have tenure. (This includes BME faculty with joint Emory appointments.)
- Candidates should have completed at least three semesters of teaching at Georgia Tech and at least one academic year on the tenure-track at the Institute.
- Self-nominations are permitted.
- First-time nominations are preferred.
The nomination packet (which should be no more than 15 pages) should be submitted electronically as a PDF file through the Georgia Tech awards portal: https://gatech.infoready4.com/ It should include the following items:
- Letter of nomination.
- A reflective statement on teaching from the candidate.
- Illustrations of the candidate’s teaching excellence and the impact on student learning.
- If applicable, provide evidence of impact on engineering undergraduate students. (This evidence can be included in other elements of the packet, and it will only be used to determine the source of funding for the award.)
- Five letters of support (these letters do not count toward the page maximum listed above). These letters should be from the following individuals: (1) Candidate’s department head or chair (if this person is the nominator, the nomination letter will suffice for this requirement); (2) One colleague who has observed the candidate in the classroom. (3) Three students, at least one of whom must currently be a student at Georgia Tech, and at least two of whom should be undergraduate students (if the candidate’s program teaches undergraduates).
Review Process and Selection Criteria
The Center for Teaching and Learning establishes a committee consisting of previous Georgia Tech educational award winners to review the nomination packets and select the winners of this award. Each nominee's submission of materials is reviewed in the context of departmental and institutional standards. Evaluation/endorsement of the nominee's exemplary performance is provided by letters from the department chair, a campus colleague, and students. Areas considered include:
• Demonstration of excellence in teaching.
• Innovation in the classroom and/or approach to teaching.
• Impact on students' lives.
• Passion for teaching and learning.
• Connections between research and teaching.
• Accessibility to all students, even those who were not performing well in the class.
Ellen Yi Chen Mazumdar – Mechanical Engineering (Nomination Packet)
Dr. Ellen Yi Chen Mazumdar’s primary goal in teaching is to provide a positive learning environment for the next generation of engineers. Since joining the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Mazumdar has revamped the undergraduate Motion Controls (ME 4012) course and has provided students with hands-on experiences that demonstrate how class materials can be applied in the real world. Additionally, she mentors undergraduate students, helping them conduct research in a variety of topics discussed in her courses. Associate Chair for Faculty Development Dr. Kyriaki Kalaitzidou says about Dr. Mazumdar, “She serves as an example for many of us and is a role model for our students ... a true inspiration, especially for our female students interested in robotics and automation.”
Claudio V. Di Leo – Aerospace Engineering (Nomination Packet)
Dr. Claudio Di Leo states, “Being a professor is not just about what we do in the classroom, which is of course critical, but we have an opportunity to influence and propel students through every interaction we have.” He creates hands-on experiences for students and teaches them the basics of his courses in engaging ways, such as letting them design 3D beams and trusses. Dr. Di Leo led the development of remote teaching for labs in the School of Aerospace Engineering and created videos of the labs being performed that students said made them feel like they were actually in person. He’s also the faculty director of the Aero Maker Space (AMS), a workspace for students to access equipment and testing labs and get assistance from TAs outside of the classroom. His work as an instructor and beyond has helped reduce barriers in education and accessibility for students.
Young C. Jang – Biological Sciences (Nomination Packet)
Even at 8am, Dr. Young Jang’s classes are filled with engaging discussions, often including video animations, movie references, and current events to help his physiology students not only understand the material but connect it to the world around them. Dr. Jang says his goal is to help students develop a fundamental foundation in biological concepts and processes while helping them to think independently and interpretively. His students say that Dr. Jang brings his own excitement about physiology to every class and always finds ways to make lectures engaging, understandable, and relatable, even drawing on his own research to explain concepts. Students also commented how valuable the course assignments and exams were because rather than depending on memorization, they were asked to recall, interpret, and apply course concepts to real problems and questions in the fields of biosciences and bioengineering. Summarizing Dr. Jang’s teaching and mentorship, one student described him as simply “inspiring.”
Koushyar Rajavi – Scheller School of Business (Nomination Packet)
Dr. Koushyar Rajavi believes every instructor can and should work hard to improve each and every one of his/her students by going the extra mile and thinking about their individual preferences and needs and demonstrates his commitment by doing just that. Dr. Rajavi is described by his students in his managerial statistics courses in the Scheller College of Business as clear, effective, empathetic, engaging, and passionate, often helping them develop new interests in statistics, statistical modeling, and analytics. Teaching core statistics courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, Dr. Rajavi chose the challenge of overhauling these courses to meet more students where they are, including working closely with those who are underprepared and offering additional work and lessons for those that are already proficient. One former student says, “that is just who Dr. Rajavi is—he wants to see students learning and excel, and he’ll do whatever it takes to help them on their journeys.”
Danielle S. Willkens – Architecture (Nomination Packet)
Dr. Danielle Willkens is described by her colleagues and students as inventive, interdisciplinary, energetic, and committed to student learning. Her enthusiasm for the discipline, bridging design history with practice, as well as social justice and historical questioning, comes alive for students in all of her classes through lectures that convey her deep enthusiasm for architecture, the culture she creates in studio courses, and the experiential projects she assigns that bring classroom and professional worlds together. In addition to reimagining the architecture history survey course and updating the first-year studio course, Dr. Willkens most recently revived the course Race, Space, and Architecture in the United States (ARCH 4823/6105) to explore “overlooked BIPOC projects and designers.” Students love the challenging and thought-provoking course environment that they say is also not too overwhelming and stressful and one student commented, Dr. Willkens is “exceptionally professional and welcoming. She facilitated an open and enthusiastic learning environment while still having high expectations [for her students].”
Marta Hatzell, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering (Nomination Packet)
Since starting at Georgia Tech, Dr. Marta Hatzell strived to find new and innovative teaching methodologies to establish a supportive yet challenging learning environment for her students. She participated in multiple teaching programs at Tech, including the Class of 1969 Teaching Fellows Program, works to better engage students in her Mechanical Engineering courses by applying topics learned in thermodynamics to sustainability and social justice issues. Additionally, Dr. Hatzell recently worked with a group of faculty to redevelop a chemical engineering course focused on electrochemistry into an updated electrochemical engineering course, open to a wider variety of engineering majors. She is a mentor to students every semester, many of whom have won academic awards under her tutelage. One graduate student says, “Dr. Hatzell’s dynamic style of teaching allows students to truly participate in class and enhances the process of learning thermodynamic concepts and principles.”
Dan Kotlyar, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering (Nomination Packet)
Dr. Dan Kotlyar encourages his students to truly engage and understand the material they learn in his mechanical engineering courses by conducting class workshops and developing computational codes and models for students to apply and modify in their assignments. Both practices help students to reinforce what they are learning in the classroom and learn how it can apply to the real world. He challenges his undergraduate students in a way that allows them to gain a graduate-level understanding of reactor physics and actively encourages them to do their own research projects and write for publication; many of his students have received high praise for their work, five of them winning the President’s Undergraduate Research Award (PURA). His students describe him as, “a warm and welcoming instructor with the ability and desire to present complicated information in a way that [is]straight forward to his students.”
AJ Medford, Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (Nomination Packet)
Dr. Andrew “AJ” Medford recognizes the large role computing and data science play in the engineering field and wants to provide students with a basic understanding of these topics. He has developed elective courses that help students better understand data science and machine learning in ways that are engaging to them. Dr. Medford applies computational methods students are learning to problems with societal impact and real-life research implications, addressing issues of sustainability and how certain chemical processes interact with the environment. One of his classes is now a core course for the Data Science for the Chemical Industry online certificate program. He runs workshops, attended by students and faculty, that teach the basics of data analysis and software development. David School, the chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, believes Dr. Medford’s courses “will propel our students to professional success and intellectual satisfaction.”
Annalise Paaby, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences (Nomination Packet)
Dr. Annalise Paaby has taught Experimental Design & Statistical Methods for four semesters, a course often viewed with trepidation by students. However, Dr. Paaby strives to help her students grow more comfortable by providing fun, real-world examples and connecting the content of the course to research in the biology field to create class engagement. She consistently adjusts her teaching methodologies to be more suited to the needs of her class, creating a more dynamic teaching environment. In addition to her work in the classroom, Dr. Paaby meets with each of her research lab trainees one-on-one to help them explore their career goals in biological studies and ways they can work towards achieving them. She is greatly admired for her attentiveness, as one student shared, “She goes above and beyond the typical commitment to student success and is one of the things that makes her class so successful.”
Kate Pride-Brown, Assistant Professor, History and Sociology (Nomination Packet)
Despite coming in with very little teaching experience, Dr. Kate Pride-Brown has taught five courses in the past four years, ranging in size and education level, and has earned high praise from her students. Dr. Brown creates a narrative arc for her students to follow that explores different topics within the course through storytelling and helps them develop shared understanding and engagement in the complex subject matter. She also encourages her students to talk about their experiences and feelings, establishing a nurturing learning environment for them to engage in open discussion. She concentrated on environmental studies within sociology during her time in grad school and is currently planning to develop a regularly offered environmental sociology course. Her school Chair Dr. Eric Schatzberg says, Dr. Brown “is a rising star in the School of History and Sociology, a brilliant teacher, very productive and innovative scholar, and a dedicated provider of service.”
Siva Theja Maguluri, Assistant Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering (Nomination Packet)
Since his start at Georgia Tech in 2017, Dr. Siva Maguluri has taught four different Industrial and Systems Engineering courses for both graduate and undergraduate students and is very active in both student communities. He has co-developed a bridge course for incoming PhD students and helped develop lecture notes for another first year PhD course. Additionally, Dr. Maguluri mentors ISyE students and works with the Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering/Sciences (SURE) program to advise students on their research projects. He recently designed a mentoring program to help prepare Ph.D. students for careers as faculty members and has created a course that support students navigating careers in the academic field. H. Milton and Carolyn J. Stewart School Chair, H. Edwin Romeijn, states that Dr. Siva Theja Maguluri is “passionate about all aspects of teaching including classroom teaching, curriculum development, improving our programs, outreach activities, and individual student mentorship.”
Wei Wang, Assistant Professor, Industrial Design (Nomination Packet)
Dr. Wei Wang has taught many of the Industrial Design hand-on courses, such as Industrial Design Studios and Interactive Product Design. He helped the School of Industrial Design make major revisions to the curriculum for the Interactive Product Development Stream through his development of three new courses, two of which have since become mandatory core courses and all of which have led to award-winning student projects. Dr. Wang encourages his students to engage themselves in research and involves all his students in his research endeavors by incorporating the concepts he’s exploring into his courses. He has mentored many of his students and has co-authored and assisted them with their own research projects. Dr. Kevin D. Shankwiler says, “It’s been a pleasure to work with Dr. Wang as a teaching colleague, and from my view as Program Coordinator, he has been a strong team member of the School.”
Joe Lachance, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences (Nomination Packet)
Dr. Joe Lachance is renowned in the School of Biological Sciences for his amazing mentorship and innovative teaching skills. A key element in his teaching is the use of active learning exercises with computer simulations or analysis of real-world genetic data. Dr. Lachance has taught and mentored people of all learning levels across the world, and there is a unanimous admiration of his creativity and his dedication to helping them succeed, both inside and outside of the classroom. He provides his students with a comfortable environment to grow and challenges them to push their creativity and intelligence to new heights.
Martin Mourigal, Assistant Professor, Physics (Nomination Packet)
The School of Physics offers some of the most difficult courses offered at Georgia Tech, but Dr. Martin Mourigal consistently receives high praise from his students for his teaching skills. His old-fashioned technique of writing on the board in sections in different colors seems simple, but it is highly effective and refreshing in the era of technology. Dr. Mourigal works hard to make sure his students leave the class feeling confident in their understanding of the content. He’s admired for his quirky and engaging teaching and has an enthusiasm for physics that resonates with his students, years after they’ve left the classroom.
Morvarid Rahmani, Assistant Professor, Scheller College of Business (Nomination Packet)
Dr. Morvarid Rahmani does three things to help her students succeed in MBA classes: create a friendly environment for students to learn in, develop innovative assignments, and relate in-class concepts to real-world situations. She observes the business challenges of Operations Management regularly and modifies the content of her courses to discuss these challenges. Dr. Rahmani’s courses are constantly evolving to match that of the constantly evolving business world, and she genuinely cares about her students’ comprehension of both in-class and real-world events. One student states, “I wholeheartedly believe we are all better students and critical thinkers because of her.”
Amit Reddi, Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry (Nomination Packet)
Students of all levels regard Dr. Amit Reddi as someone who stimulates his students’ desire for knowledge by shaping the curriculum assignments around actual discussions happening in the biochemistry world. His passion for his subject resonates with his students, as does his passion for their success. Dr. Reddi pushes his students to consider biochemistry not as facts set in stone, but as malleable concepts that are constantly changing as biochemists learn more about them. His students say that he comes across as humble and kind, and he is consistently pushing himself to improve his teaching methods, something that his high CIOS reviews show pays off.
Chaowen Ting, Assistant Professor, Music (Nomination Packet)
Five years ago, Dr. Chaowen Ting helped to develop Georgia Tech’s orchestra program into the talented group of performers that it is today. The orchestral director is known for her passion and her ability to work with students of all skill levels in music. Her love for music shines clearly through her performance, both in rehearsal and in concert, and her desire to teach students about more than how to play the music, but also to understand the significance of it. Dr. Chaowen Ting evokes passion in her students and encourages them to pour this into every rehearsal.
Morris B. Cohen, Electrical and Computer Engineering (Nomination Packet)
Nassim Jafari Naimi, Literature, Media, and Communication (Nomination Packet)
Jenna Jordan, International Affairs (Nomination Packet)
Taesoo Kim, Computer Science (Nomination Packet)
Mark D. Losego, Materials Science and Engineering (Nomination Packet)
O. Cem Ozturk, Scheller College of Business (Nomination Packet)
Susan N. Thomas, Mechanical Engineering (Nomination Packet)
Jeremy D. Ackerman, Biomedical Engineering (Nomination Packet)
Grigoriy Blekherman, Mathematics (Nomination Packet)
Margaret E. Kosal, International Affairs (Nomination Packet)
Marius Florin Niculescu, Scheller College of Business (Nomination Packet)
Dong Qin, Materials Science and Engineering (Nomination Packet)
John M. Smith, History, Technology, and Society (Nomination Packet)
J. Brandon Dixon, Mechanical Engineering (Nomination Packet)
Flavio H. Fenton, Physics (Nomination Packet)
Brian K. Hammer, Biology (Nomination Packet)
Kamran Paynabar, Industrial and Systems Engineering (Nomination Packet)
Anne Pollock, Literature, Media, and Communication (Nomination Packet)
Kari E. Watkins, Civil and Environmental Engineering (Nomination Packet)
Julie Champion, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Shatakshee Dhongde, Economics
Karen Head, Literature, Media, and Communication
Manpreet Hora, Scheller College of Business
Olivier Pierron, Mechanical Engineering
Christopher Rozell, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Jin Liu, Modern Languages
Christopher J. Peikert, Computer Science
Michael Stilman, Interactive Computing
Mark P.W. Styczynksi, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Todd A. Sulchek, Mechanical Engineering
Jochen Teizer, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Michael A. Filler, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Eric M. Overby, Management
Kelley R. Comfort, Modern Languages
Johnna S. Temenoff, Biomedical Engineering
Yonathan S. Thio, Polymer, Textile, and Fiber Engineering
Facundo M. Fernandez, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Laurie A. Garrow, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Michael P. Hunter, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Hang Lu, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Valeria Tohver Milam, Materials Science Engineering
Matthew Baker, Mathematics
Jaehong Kim, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Chris Paredis, Mechanical Engineering
Victor Breedveld, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Joel Sokol. Industrial and Systems Engineering
Lena Ting, Biomedical Engineering
Marcus Weck, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Pinar Keskinocak, Industrial and Systems Engineering
Sylvia Maier, International Affairs
Nael McCarty, Biology
Christopher Jones, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Harish Radhakrishna, Biology
Nora Cotille-Foley, Modern Languages
David Scott, GTRET
Andres J. Garcia, Mechanical Engineering
William E. Singhose, Mechanical Engineering
Marc Levenston, Mechanical Engineering
Donald R. Webster, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Kirk Bowman, International Affairs
Imme Ebert-Uphoff, Mechanical Engineering
Mark Prausnitz, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Gordon Kingsley, Public Policy
John Olds, Aerospace Engineering
Suzanne Shuker, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Tom DiChristina, Biology
Karen Dixon, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Mary Lynn Realff, Polymer, Textile, and Fiber Engineering
Stephen Quirk, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Stephen Ruffin, Aerospace Engineering
Anne Steinemann, Architecture
Dana Hartley, Earth and Atmospheric Science
Ken Hughes, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Scott Wills, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Bert Bras, Mechanical Engineering
Patricia Dove, Earth and Atmospheric Science
Jacqueline Bridge, Mechanical Engineering
William Roberts Clark, International Affairs
Ashhok Goel, Interactive Computing
David Collard, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Narayan Jayaraman, Management
Richard Catrambone, Psychology
Jianmin Qu, Mechanical Engineering
Bonnie Heck, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Larry Jacobs, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Erian Armanios, Aerospace Engineering
Margaret Graff, Physics