The UA AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Teaching Excellence Award was given to tenure and career track faculty who implemented active learning instructional strategies in their classroom-based undergraduate courses. The following instructors have demonstrated strong commitments to improving their teaching effectiveness and the learning of their students by implementing evidence-based instructional strategies. Each person was recognized at the Awards of Distinction luncheon, presented with a plaque and one-time prize of $1,000.  

Award Recipients


Kasi Kielbaugh

Kasi Kiehlbaugh, lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, collaborated with Paul Blowers, Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, to teach the Elements of Chemical Engineering II course in a Collaborative Learning Space. Together, they were able to benefit the students by coming up with course plans and teaching strategies based on each other's strengths.

"Kasi continues her growth as an instructor by actively participating in faculty learning communities that focus on philosophical discussions about teaching, peer observations and practical implementation of new strategies," Blowers wrote in a nomination letter of Kiehlbaugh. "FLC participants engage in meaningful dialogue about the effectiveness of the various approaches that they implement in their courses and provide feedback to one another. Kasi's contributions are significant since many FLC members can easily relate to the challenges of trying new and unfamiliar approaches."

2016 | ZOE COHEN

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Zoe Cohen, assistant professor in the College of Medicine, has used technology to keep her students engaged and maintains a blog where the students are able to discuss course-related topics.
"Zoe's enthusiasm about teaching and trying new methods is contagious and she has been an inspiration to many faculty members within her department and across campus," Claudia Stanescu, assistant professor of physiology and director of the physiology undergraduate program, wrote in her nomination of Cohen.


Amy Graham, lecturer in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Science, was honored with the Undergraduate STEM Education Teaching Excellence Award in 2016. Graham engages students by using creative strategies, including tabletop whiteboards and, an online quizzing tool. By using these tools, Graham provides opportunities for students to apply the knowledge they have gained in gathering information. She teaches in the new Science-Engineering Library Collaborative Learning Space and trains preceptors on their role in the classroom and how to interact with students.


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Jennifer Eli, assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics in the College of Science, received the Undergraduate STEM Education Teaching Excellence Award in 2015 for implementing active learning and instructional strategies in the classroom. As part of her work training future math educators, Eli utilizes a collaborative learning environment to enhance students' learning and understanding.

"My role as a mathematics educator is to find ways to orchestrate discussion and enact pedagogical moves that build upon students' thinking and ways of knowing," Eli said. "This award underscores the value of implementing research-supported teaching reforms to better prepare the next generation of STEM educators."


Brokk Toggerson, instructor in the Department of Physics in the College of Science, promotes STEM education and conceptual thinking through a variety of engaging activities and collaborations.
"The Association of American Universities' STEM Faculty Learning Communities program has truly helped me transform my teaching," Toggerson said. "The participation of faculty from multiple different STEM disciplines has provided a wonderful variety of perspectives in discussions about different ways to organize a classroom and implement student-centered active pedagogies."