Graduate Spotlight: 2010 Excellence in Teaching Awards
Over the past 10 years, Matthew Forsythe has built an extensive teaching record at UGA and his previous institutions. He has been the teacher of record for 56 courses in the English department, covering topics on composition, literature and creative writing. He has designed and taught two special sections of first-year composition for English students. The two courses are “And the Fans Wrote: Reading and Writing about Sports” and “American Writers and the Nation’s Wilderness.” Forsythe also works outside the classroom to assist new teaching assistants with their transition to UGA during Fall Orientation and participates on the English Department’s Syllabus Committee.
Tony Gonzalez has taught introductory Japanese to UGA students since 2004, although he is a non-native Japanese speaker. Currently, he is the senior teaching assistant in the program in the Department of Comparative Literature. Gonzalez strives to combine technology with educational design in approach to teaching. He also developed the “karaoke project,” where first-year students learn a Japanese pop song and perform it in front of class. The karaoke project is now in its third year of regular use at UGA. He also creates online flashcards as a study guide to help his students memorize Japanese characters. Additionally, Gonzalez has partnered with educators in Japan to produce collaborative student projects that span the Pacific Ocean.
Ren Hullender began his graduate work in the Lamar Dodd School of Art at UGA in 2006 after 30 years of teaching art in high schools. His extensive teaching experience and thorough knowledge of theory allowed him to instruct a wide range of art education classes in the last four years. His teaching resume ranges from overseeing the development of student teachers to fostering an appreciation of art among incoming freshmen. As a specialty in his classes, Hullender emphasizes reflexive practices that help his students connect new material to their own personal context and prior understanding.
Carly Jordan voluntarily served as a guest lecturer for large biology classes during her first two years as UGA graduate student. Since then, she has worked extensively as a graduate instructor in the biology department. Challenged with involving students from outside majors, Jordan illustrated key biology concepts with case study teaching. She designed a case study that combined infectious diseases and vaccine development interwoven with DNA technology topics. Her advanced teaching experience allowed her to become UGA’s first graduate student to serve as instructor of record for introductory biology. In addition to instructing undergraduates, Jordan mentors her graduate student peers on teaching methods.
Noreen Lyell serves primarily as a laboratory assistant in the microbiology department. She has taught the introductory microbiology lab five times for undergraduates while mentoring upcoming microbiology teaching assistants. While serving as a teaching assistant in a laboratory course last year, Lyell heard student complaints about the structure of the exams. After a thorough review, her recommended changes in how exams were administered have been implemented to the benefit of both the students and the department. Lyell also mentors undergraduates and helps them pursue their own research questions. Some of her former students have already entered graduate school.