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2020 Remote Instruction Excellence Awardees

Re: 2020 Remote Instruction Excellence Awardees
To: All campus
Nov. 24, 2020
Dear Campus Community,
We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 Remote Instruction Excellence Award. Undergraduate and graduate students were invited to nominate instructors who have created effective remote courses and who have been exceptionally supportive in the online learning environment. We had over 300 nominations! From the student nominations, a committee of faculty and administrators had the very difficult task of selecting the awardees. Below are the awardees along with excerpts from the student nomination.
2020 Remote Instruction Excellence Awardees
  • Alberto Cerpa, EECS
  • He does everything in his power to actually help us learn.
  • Andrea Merg, CHEM
  • He goes above and beyond in helping students including having office hours before and after every class.” “[He goes] out of his comfort zone to show that he cares.”
  • Arghavan Alamatsaz, ENGR
  • This professor made excellent remote instructor. She was able to make learning the subject easy.”
  • Carrie Menke, PHYS
  • “She's really put in the extra effort to talk to all of us and still try to get to know us.” ” She has worked with her students directly to improve the class.”
  • Dalia Magana, SPAN
  • “She starts class by asking how we are doing. She creates a safe space for her students and tells us to practice self care.” “Dalia is always very considerate and accommodating to the needs of all her students.”
  • Daniel Mello, PSY
  • “His lectures are enjoyable over Zoom.” “[He has] made distance learning feel less distant.” “After the lesson is complete, he uploads it to CatCourses so if we ever want to review it, the class is available.”
  • Justin Hicks, ECON
  • “Hicks always begins the class as a different character to begin lecture and have it be engaging.” “He makes it interesting by bringing new materials to the class every day.” “[He] encourages us to unmute and ask clarifying questions.”
  • Michelle Leslie, CHEM
  • “[She] makes videos for each problem we go over in class which is really helpful!” “[She] makes virtual labs very enjoyable and we learn the material while doing the labs.” “[She creates] an environment where questions are encouraged and some focused fun can be had.”
  • Petra Kransfelder, BIO
  • “She is always so excited to teach us and it gives me more motivation to learn.” “The vibes she puts out during our zoom class is very uplifting which makes me even more excited to attend.”
  • Sean Horan, MATH
  • “He is able to create an environment that makes learning math fun.” “[He] shows time and time again that he listens to the needs of his students.” “The way he engages and connects with his students, it does not feel like a lecture. It feels as if you are talking to a friend about a subject.”
  • Seungjun Kim, POLI
  • “He makes sure we are staying healthy in our personal lives due to the isolating nature of the pandemic and the remote learning.” “He keeps the lectures brief and engaging. The rest is to ask questions.”
  • Yehuda Sharim, GASP
  • “He has been nothing short of being amazing. Zoom has not affected our way of learning at all.” “Although our classes are online, most students even know each other on a first name basis in this class.” “He checks on each student a minimum of once a week.”
Congratulations to the 2020 Remote Instruction Excellence Awardees! Also, thank you to all our faculty who have created great remote learning experiences for our students. There were 115 distinct faculty nominated for this award and the decision was very tough, given all the excellent teaching this semester. Your educational efforts are appreciated!
Sarah Frey, Ph.D.
Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
Chris Kello, Ph.D.
Interim Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education