2009 Mason Teaching Excellence Award Winners Announced

Posted: April 10, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

From The Center for Teaching Excellence

A celebration honoring the winners of the 2009 George Mason University Teaching Excellence Awards will be held on Monday, April 13, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Center for the Arts lobby.

Provost Peter Stearns and the Center for Teaching Excellence welcome all members of the Mason community to celebrate the achievements of these outstanding educators.

The winners of the 2009 Teaching Excellence Award are

  • Pamela Hudson Baker, assistant professor of special education, College of Education and Human Development

  • Chawky Frenn, associate professor of art and visual technology, College of Visual and Performing Arts (General Education Award)

  • Karen Hallows, assistant professor of finance and EMBA academic director, School of Management

  • Kumar Mehta, assistant professor of information systems and operations management, School of Management

  • Linda Monson, professor of music, associate chair and director of keyboard studies, College of Visual and Performing Arts

  • Esperanza Roman-Mendoza, associate professor of Spanish, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (Teaching with Technology Award)

Debra Bergoffen, professor of philosophy, will be honored with the David J. King Award for significant, long-term contributions to enhancing educational excellence at Mason.

About the Award Winners

Baker has dedicated her teaching to promoting positive special education methodologies that make an impact. Seeking to create an impactful learning community for her students, Baker builds dynamic learning environments in which students can gain knowledge, skills and new perspectives, challenging them in ways that meet their individual needs.

Frenn teaches studio fundamentals and undergraduate- and graduate-level painting and drawing. An internationally renowned artist, he affirms the necessity of “art for life’s sake” through his works and teaching. Frenn inspires his students by sharing with them his own personal struggles as an artist, encouraging passion, challenging their perceptions and helping them to discover self-awareness.

Hallows teaches finance and is the academic director of the executive MBA program. Believing that an active student learning environment can generate optimal learning, she seeks to bring the “world” into her classroom and her classroom to the “world.” By showing her enthusiasm and the relevance of her subject matter to everyday life, Hallows enables her students to apply the principles they have learned to better society.

Mehta takes a business-oriented approach to teaching technical subject matters such as network design, data communications, data warehousing and business intelligence. Building a mutual sense of trust and respect with his students, Mehta believes that his role as a teacher is to empower students with knowledge and confidence in their own abilities so they are able to seek their own knowledge as they shape their lives.

Monson is associate chair of the Department of Music and director of keyboard studies. As an international Steinway artist, she has performed the world over at various institutions. Teaching her students on a one-on-one basis, Monson inspires students to work to their potential and challenges them to reach new levels of musical artistry in their performances.

Roman-Mendoza teaches undergraduate and graduate Spanish, incorporating technology into her practices. By using technology to give her students a variety of learning avenues, she helps her students to overcome their individual cultural and academic barriers, allowing them to collaborate and communicate freely. Roman-Mendoza works to attain a classroom dynamic that promotes open discussion, tolerance and a solid foundation for lifelong learning.

Bergoffen has taught courses in existentialism, phenomenology and feminist theory and works within the context of the continental philosophical and multidisciplinary feminist traditions to explore issues at the intersections of epistemology, ethics and politics. In her 38 years at Mason, she has served as, among other things, the chair of the Philosophy Department, the director of Women’s Studies, and the coordinator of both the Liberal Studies Master’s Program and the Philosophy MA Program. Bergoffen was honored with a teaching excellence award in 1994; she will retire at the end of this semester.

Teaching Excellence Award winners were selected through a competitive process in which they document their educational excellence. Award winners will receive a $2,000 stipend and $1,000 to support their teaching and learning activities.

The awards are coordinated and directed by Kimberly Eby, associate provost for faculty development and director of the Center for Teaching Excellence. Selection committee members for all awards were Joani Bedore, Pamela Cangelosi, Linda Chrosniak, Nada Dabbagh, Rick Davis, Al Fuertes, Don Gallehr, Howard Kurtz, Giuseppina Kysar Mattietti, Star Muir, Victoria Salmon and Lesley Smith.

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