2020 Excellence in Teaching Award Winners Announced
School of Kinesiology undergraduate and graduate students selected Pete Bodary (clinical assistant professor, AES and MVS), Tom George (assistant professor of clinical practice, AES and SM), Kathy Kern (lecturer, AES and MVS), and Allyssa Memmini (graduate student instructor, AT) as winners of the 2020 Students' Choice Excellence in Teaching Award.
Tom Templin, associate dean of faculty and undergraduate affairs, surprised the winners by announcing the award during their virtual classes.
The award means a lot to Kathy.
“It’s always a warm and wonderful honor to be recognized for the work you do for the students,” she said. “All the instructors at the School of Kinesiology do a fantastic job. I’m honored to be honored.”
For Pete, the recognition was the “icing on the cake.”
“I enjoy teaching and the material that I have the opportunity to teach, so I feel like I already have a great ‘gig,’” he said. “I share this award with all the GSIs and course assistants that helped provide amazing support across the seven unique courses that I taught this academic year.”
Tom said he felt honored by the selection. “I have been teaching for a long time and often consider whether my instructional style or class environment still resonates with students who are several generations younger,” he said. “Receiving this award was a very pleasant surprise and has really re-energized my passion for teaching.”
Tom’s favorite experience this year was how well his students adapted to the cancellation of in-person classes. They expressed more empathy and concern for classmates and were understanding when technological glitches occurred. “They really rose to the occasion, and it made the rest of the semester so much more meaningful as a result,” he said.
Allyssa said she was very humbled to receive the award. “It’s even more special knowing it was based off my students’ nominations,” she added.
A selection of the student nominator comments are below.
“He was always willing to further explain topics for clarification and worked hard to ensure that the whole class was engaged. He created a welcoming atmosphere that encouraged students and made them feel appreciated while challenging our knowledge.”
“As hard as it may be to engage a room of upperclassmen in the late afternoon, he always had personal anecdotes about his research and funny stories to share that kept everyone attentive and upbeat.”
“He was an excellent teacher. I always looked forward to his class because he brought such a good energy to the classroom and you could feel his passion for the subjects, which was unlike any other class I’ve taken. He was effective in teaching because he further explained each of his points, answered any questions, and held review sessions prior to exams. THE BEST CLASS EVER!”
“The willingness of Dr. George to go on the China trip and engage with the students is just one example of how he really cares about students, not only in the classroom, but as people in life.”
“Professor Kern is an amazing teacher, who truly cares for each one of her students. She explained hard concepts well, which has allowed me to apply them in my career. Overall, Professor Kern is a wonderful teacher that I would gladly recommend to any future student.”
“Professor Kern is an amazing professor who not only does a great job communicating and teaching important information, but also creates a fun learning environment that makes the subject matter even more interesting. All of the supplemental videos and pictures in her presentations are effective and helpful.”
“I honestly believe that Allyssa is one of the best teachers I have had. She always makes sure to clearly and slowly explain the material and then makes sure that we understand everything that we are doing. She is always willing to answer questions and meet with us outside of class to go over things. I also very much appreciate her taking her time every week to hold review sessions for us as those greatly help me prepare for all of our exams. Thank you, Allyssa!”
“She is a very comforting presence and really understands her students, and is so effective at giving advice and making students feel like it is going to be okay.”