Teaching Awards given to five CLAS faculty

Five professors in Wayne State University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) were awarded CLAS Teaching Awards this week. The annual recognition honors exceptional achievements in education and inspiration in the classroom.

"This year's awardees embody the dedication and excellence that define CLAS faculty," said Dean Steffi Hartwell. "Their unique approaches to teaching ignite curiosity, challenge assumptions and empower students to reach their full potential."

The 2023-2024 CLAS Teaching Award recipients are:

Associate Professor Zachary Brewster, Department of Sociology

Stephanie Hartwell and Zachary Brewster

Brewster's dynamic classroom environment, marked by a blend of confidence and curiosity, encourages students to engage in critical thinking and rediscover the joy of questioning. His commitment extends beyond the classroom, as he mentors graduate students and contributes to scholarly literature on teaching and learning.

Assistant Professor Scott Burdick, Department of Environmental Science and Geology

Burdick's dedication to fostering critical thinking and inquiry skills shines through in his engaging lectures and hands-on activities. He is praised by colleagues and students alike for his ability to integrate his lectures with inclusive, experiential learning through activities like hands-on training in various geologic techniques and by taking students on popular class field trips. 

Scott Burdick

Assistant Professor Charlie Fehl, Department of Chemistry

Charlie Fehl

Fehl's passion for chemistry and biology sparks student interest through innovative teaching methods, including research-focused modules and "Diversity & Inclusion Minutes" highlighting underrepresented scientists. In addition to excellent teaching and mentoring, Fehl is highly involved with student activities and community outreach efforts. He co-supervised the undergraduate WSU Chemistry Club to construct the World’s Largest Periodic Table which brought national recognition to Wayne State.

Professor renée c. hoogland, Department of English

hoogland's transformative teaching philosophy keeps her courses fresh and engaging, constantly evolving with critical debates and updated texts. What's more, she has developed and taught 22 new courses at all curriculum levels, including courses in cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, literature, and visual culture. hoogland has introduced the study of visual culture to the English department and encourages students to explore complex questions about culture, power and everyday life.

Stephanie Hartwell and renée c. hoogland

Assistant Professor Mindy Huang, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Mindy Huang

Huang's novel international learning program and integration of online tools foster active learning and cross-cultural communication in her physics courses. Her dedication to student success is evident in her inspiring teaching methods, which encourage students to pursue careers in biophysical research.

Wayne State's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is home to nearly 400 innovative faculty across 20 departments.

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