Seven College of Sciences faculty members from five schools are winners of annual awards from Georgia Tech’s Center for Teaching and Learning.
The Center for Teaching and Learning, part of the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Faculty Development, enhances the learning and teaching environment at Georgia Tech by encouraging a fully engaged, sharing community with communication networks, resources, and innovative programs for faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students. It recognizes tenured and non-tenured faculty with end-of-school-year awards honoring the work and innovation Georgia Tech educators bring to their classrooms.
This year's list includes a pair of School of Mathematics educators: Stephanie Reikes, a lecturer in the School of Mathematics, is the winner of Georgia Tech’s 2021 Undergraduate Educator Award. Professor Dan Margalit is one of two winners of the 2021 Eichholz Faculty Teaching Award.
2021 Undergraduate Educator Award
Stephanie Reikes, School of Mathematics
Reikes’ award was offered for the first time in 2009, recognizing the outstanding contributions that non-tenure track faculty make to student education. It reflects Reikes’ unique role at Georgia Tech, with responsibilities in the School of Mathematics and the Tutoring & Academic Support unit at Georgia Tech. She is responsible for teaching all of the Institute’s pre-calculus mathematics courses, including Support for College Algebra, College Algebra, and Pre-Calculus. She specializes in working with student of all backgrounds, including at-risk students, students with disabilities, and student-athletes.
In addition to leading improvements in this challenging area, she has strengthened the cooperation and collaboration between Tutoring & Academic Support and the School of Mathematics, and introduced an innovative Learning Assistants program. She also directs the Math Lab.
2021 Eichholz Award Faculty Teaching Award
Dan Margalit, School of Mathematics
The Eichholz Award, which includes a $3,000 prize, was established in 2005 through a gift from School of Mechanical Engineering's Regents’ Professor Emeritus Geoffrey Eichholz. It was created to reward senior faculty members who made a long-term contribution to introductory undergraduate education and were outstanding teachers for students taking freshman and sophomore core courses. It was recently broadened to recognize faculty at any point in their careers who excel in teaching core and general education courses, and who help students establish a solid foundation for their education at Georgia Tech.
Margalit’s math research lies at the intersection of low-dimensional topology and geometric group theory. He focuses on mapping class groups of surfaces, also called the the symmetries of surfaces. The author/editor of three books, Margalit hosts several workshops and discussion groups centering not just on topology and the advanced geometry he teaches, but mentorship and support for undergraduate and graduate students.
CTL/BP Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award ($3,000 each award)
Young Jang – School of Biological Sciences
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.
Jang, an assistant professor, researches stem cell biology and its impact on the aging process. Jang’s lab uses multi-disciplinary approaches to study muscle stem cell biology and develops bioactive stem cell delivery vehicles for use in regenerative medicine.
Faculty Award for Academic Outreach ($3,000)
Chandra Raman – School of Physics
This award rewards faculty members for productive academic outreach in which they go beyond their normal duties to enrich the larger educational community with their subject matter knowledge. Initiatives may involve furthering the learning of K-12 students, teachers, or other educational stakeholders in Georgia.
Raman, a professor, lists Bose-Einstein condensation and quantum atomic sensors as his research interests. His lab is an experimental atomic physics group that prepares atomic vapors from room temperature down to the microKelvin temperature regime, and seeks to exploit their unique capabilities for applications in quantum photonics, sensing, and many-body physics.
Innovation in Co-Curricular Education ($3,000 shared--$1,000 each)
Paul Verhaeghen—School of Psychology
This award is open to full-time faculty of any rank who increase student learning outside the traditional curriculum and help Georgia Tech achieve its strategic goal of graduating global citizens who can contribute to all sectors of society. Initiatives may involve formal or informal out-of-class learning experiences that engage undergraduate and/or graduate students in opportunities to develop respect for other cultures, explore the leadership qualities and ethical behaviors necessary to contribute to society, and/or build on their innovative and entrepreneurial talents in order to have a positive impact on local, state, national and/or international arenas.
Verhaeghen, a professor, researches cognitive aging and working memory in the School of Psychology. He has also conducted scientific research into mindfulness meditation, and has published a book on his findings, “Presence: How Mindfulness Shapes Your Brain, Mind, and Life.” In late 2020 he was awarded a two-year, $200,000 grant from the Mind and Life Institute.
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award ($3,000 shared--$1,500 each)
Michael Evans, Carrie Shepler, School of Chemistry and Biochemistry
This award, offered in 2018-2019 for the first time, provides Georgia Tech with the opportunity to acknowledge the value of scholarship of teaching and learning articulated by Boyer’s Scholarship Reconsidered (1990), and exemplified by the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. This award is intended to encourage and support the work of faculty whose scholarship focuses on the instructional mission of the institution.
Evans is a senior academic professional who serves as the Freshmen Chemistry Laboratory Coordinator. As he writes in the Chemical Education section of his biographical profile, “Our advanced labs have focused on how to keep students engaged and allow them to see the relevance of lab work to their career paths.”
As Director of Instructional Activities and Student Experience in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Shepler’s responsibilities include co-chairing the Freshman Chemistry Committee, providing administrative supervision and support, planning of assessment and feedback, pedagogical development, and coordination and training of teaching assistants in the freshman program in addition to teaching freshman program courses. Shepler also serves as an academic advisor.
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Renay San Miguel
Communications Officer II/Science Writer
College of Sciences