This award is open to full-time faculty of any rank who have excelled in teaching in the laboratory. The “laboratory” can be broadly defined to include both traditional science labs and other formal courses that include experiential learning where students participate in the processes of investigation, analysis, and reflection in order to reach a deeper understanding of course concepts. The award recipient will receive $3,000, and up to one award will be given annually.
Questions? Contact Joyce Weinsheimer.
- Nomination packets are due by midnight on February 28, 2021.
- Awards recipients will be honored at a campus celelbration on April 15, 2021.
- Names and nomination packets of the award winners will be posted on the CTL Faculty Award website following the Faculty/Staff Honors Luncheon.
- Names of winners will be added to the Teaching Awards wall located in the Clough Undergraduate Commons.
- Any faculty member of any rank who teaches students in lab settings.
- Self-nominations are encouraged.
The nomination packet (which should be no more than 15 pages) should be submitted electronically as a PDF file to Georgia Tech's award portal: https://gatech.infoready4.com. It should include the following items:
- Table of contents for the packet.
- Description of the laboratory initiative, including the goals of the laboratory instruction, the intended audience, the targeted learning outcomes, and the approach taken. (Please note that this award is for instructional labs, not research labs.)
- Description of how the laboratory initiative has been evaluated, including documentation of how the goals were met, the extent to which the learning outcomes were achieved, and the benefits derived from the initiative.
- Description of the potential for others to adopt or adapt the initiative to other lab settings.
- In addition, you should solicit letters of support of your award application (these letters will not count toward the page maximum). These letters of support should be from the following individuals:
*Candidate’s department chair.
*One or two colleagues who have observed the laboratory initiative.
*Three to five students who have participated in the initiative.
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 winner of this award. Each nominee's submission 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. The committee will consider the extent to which the nominee's approach to laboratory instruction does the following:
- Enhances student learning by helping students deepen their understanding of fundamental concepts.
- Promotes student participation in the processes of investigation, analysis, and reflection.
- Provides opportunities for students to think about, discuss, and/or investigate/solve real-world problems.
- Engages students in collaborative problem solving.
- Contributes to a positive student learning experience at Georgia Tech.
Himani Sharma – Materials Science & Engineering (Nomination Packet)
When Dr. Himani Sharma took over teaching the MSE 4022 Materials Laboratory II lab in 2018, she knew that she needed to revise it so that it provided more hands-on learning experiences for students. Enrollment in the required course had grown so large since the School of Material Science and Engineering merged with the School of Polymer, Textile, and Fiber Engineering (PTFE) that there was not enough equipment available for all students to get to work with it. However, having this practical experience is important to ground student understanding of key concepts and processes. To address this problem, Sharma redesigned the experiments, switched to safer and less expensive equipment when possible, and secured agreements to use equipment in MSE's make and measure space, “The MILL.” What made all of that work was that she organized the students into small groups who rotate to utilize the equipment. Furthermore, she also worked with professionals from industry to create more engaging lecture content for her students. Associate Chair for Undergraduate Program Dr. Mary Realff praises the positive impact these innovations have had on student learning: “Himani Sharma’s innovations in teaching the laboratory courses and her ability to collaborate with others to implement her innovations has impacted our undergraduate and graduate students in a large way.”
Colin Harrison, Academic Professional, Biological Sciences (Nomination Packet)
Dr. Colin Harrison has been the Director of Introductory Biology Labs for close to five years and continues working tirelessly to enhance students’ understanding of fundamental concepts about research and experimentation but also to help them apply these concepts to real-world problems. Students get to actively engage in science processes rather than repeat experiments and get known results. In Harrison’s labs, students work with local community organizations, such as Piedmont Park and Atlanta Botanical Gardens to address their needs and come up with innovative ideas for improvement. Through students learn a framework that allows them to be productive and creative in their scientific studies. Vice President of Conservation and Research Atlanta Botanical Garden Dr. Emily Coffey says, “Dr. Harrison is one of those rare teachers who truly inspire and provides a learning environment where students can thrive.”
David MacNair, Director of Laboratory Development, Mechanical Engineering (Nomination Packet)
Four years ago, Dr. David MacNair took on the challenge of redesigning the instructional laboratories in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. He created new laboratory platforms for students to utilize, and he designed and produced data-collection equipment and pieces of experimental apparatus so that students could navigate the lab environment more easily. Dr. MacNair has fundamentally enriched the quality of the content students learn while preparing them for the realities of engineering in the world beyond Tech. These changes inspired one of his students to say, “His efforts helped me become both a better student and a better engineer.”
Victor Breedveld, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (Nomination Packet)
S. Balakrishna Pai, Biomedical Engineering (Nomination Packet)
Christine Spencer, Biology (Nomination Packet)
Michael A. Dobbins, City and Regional Planning (Nomination Packet)
Essy Behravesh, Biomedical Engineering (Nomination Packet)
Cara Gormally, Biology
Jacqueline Mohalley Snedeker, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering