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3rd Annual Aggies Celebrate Teaching! Recognized Six Texas A&M Instructors for Transformative Teach

Date:   5/23/2019


Aggies Celebrate Teaching 2019

By The Texas A&M University Center for Teaching Excellence

The Center for Teaching Excellence at Texas A&M University held its third annual Aggies Celebrate Teaching! – Recognizing Transformational Teaching and Learning reception this Spring, made possible through the generous donation of Carlos ’73 and Carolyn ’73 Cotton.

Students across all disciplines wrote heart-felt essays giving evidence of and reflecting upon the instructor’s impact on their learning and lives.  This annual teaching award celebration provides a unique view of teaching excellence. Students share their personal experiences of the relationship between teacher and learner, growth and change, difficulties and triumph – experiences that shifted their thinking and perspectives in a personal way. Out of 100 nominations, six students were chosen to honor their instructors as inspirational and transformational mentors.

Transformational Teaching is…
“Teaching that encourages students to question assumptions and challenge beliefs… such that they emerge from the experience with a changed perspective influencing interactions and contributions to a modern world.” – Dr. Debra Fowler, Director, Center for Teaching Excellence

The audience laughed and nodded in recollection of their own experiences as they listened to the impassioned student speeches. Following each story, the faculty awardees shared experiences related to their transformational teaching practices, truly demonstrating their dedication to improving student experiences, increasing opportunity, and facilitating transformational learning. The diverse faculty-student experiences demonstrated that there are many paths to transformational learning.

The following six faculty-student pairs were honored at the event:
  • Dr. Anna Wolfe, College of Liberal Arts, nominated by Emily Tarbet, senior Communication major
  • Dr. Edgar Sanchez-Sinencio, College of Engineering, nominated by Alfredo Costilla Reyes, graduate student in Electrical Engineering
  • Dr. Brian Balta, College of Geosciences, nominated by Michael Martinez, senior Geology major
  • Mr. Philippe Hercot, Mays Business School, nominated by Peyton Lenaburg, senior Applied Mathematical Sciences major
  • Dr. Kristen Thyng, College of Geosciences, nominated by Joshua Farrar, graduate student in Anthropology
  • Dr. Jessica Labonté, TAMU Galveston, nominated by Jordan Walker, postbaccalaureate Marine Biology major
Also celebrated after the event was Jaekwan K (JK) Park, a graduate student in Health & Kinesiology. JK has been accepted and looks forward to his new doctoral program. JK was selected for the Yeti cooler incentive award for the early bird deadline.

Congratulations to all the awardees and to everyone who nominated a professor. Watch for the next Call for Nominations during the 2019-2020 academic year! For more information, please contact Sherri MacWillie, Program Manager, smacwillie@tamu.edu.