Students in class

Dr. Monica Adya
Department of Management

From video conferencing with Scotland to visiting India, Dr. Monica Adya's students cross geographical, cultural, disciplinary and technological boundaries.

"Influential teachers ignite not merely the minds of learners but also their hearts through experiences, progressive methods and meaningful reflection," Adya says. "My approach to pedagogy has been shaped by these beliefs and reflects Ignatian philosophies that place great emphasis on the teacher as an enabler of experience, facilitator of reflection and as one who spurs the learner into action."

In recognition of her commitment to effective teaching and student growth, Dr. Adya is a 2017 recipient of the Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence.

In her project management course, Adya's students engage in a semester-long collaboration with engineering students in another country, most recently, Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland. They work to develop a product concept, learning to resolve differences and technological challenges along the way. In another course, the global technology experience in India, students visit with leaders from IT service providers in India to learn how they deliver solutions to other countries.

By putting students in a position to confront and solve problems, Adya is preparing them for today's working world.

"She has left an imprint on us, one that we will carry after graduation," said student Cristina Zecena-Hernandez. "She inspires us to stretch our minds, to be creative and curious, and she cultivates our love for IT. To me, she represents a professional who I aspire to be and a role model for women in the IT industry."

Dr. Timothy G. McMahon (Gettel Award)
Department of History

Dr. Timothy McMahon simply helps students to become better versions of themselves.

The associate professor of history has excellent teaching scores, with students who love the all-inclusive nature of his approach to teaching. McMahon has inspired students to pursue graduate studies in Irish history, and undertake real-life experiences at the Les Aspin Center for Government and the Young Ambassador program in Northern Ireland.

Now, he's been honored with a 2017 Teaching Excellence Award. It's a deeply deserved award for McMahon, who joined the Department of History in the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences as a visiting assistant professor in 2001.

He has since taught more than a dozen different undergraduate and graduate classes. He's supervised three completed dissertations, served on nine dissertation committees and supervised eight Master of Arts essays.

"He has been one of the most effective and popular teachers in the department throughout those nearly 16 years," said Dr. James Marten, chair of the Department of History.

McMahon also has been a prolific writer and editor. He has written Grand Opportunity: The Gaelic Revival and Irish Society, 1893-1910, and edited Pádraig Ó Fathaigh's War of Independence: Recollections of a Galway Gaelic Leaguer. He is co-editor of a forthcoming anthology of essays and currently is writing his second monograph, Éire-Imperator: Ireland's Imperial Ambivalence.

He has received a Faculty Star Teaching Award from the National Residence Hall Honorary Society and the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences' Excellence in Faculty Advising Award.

In early April, he was installed as president of the American Conference for Irish Studies, the largest academic organization in North America dedicated to Irish studies.

Dr. Leah R. Flack
Department of English

In nominating Dr. Leah Flack for the Teaching Excellence Award, her colleagues used words like "engaging," "rigorous," "creative" and "lively" to describe her instructional style.

In fact, one colleague called the associate professor of English "the most skilled pedagogue I have ever seen in the classroom."

Flack accepts these accolades with humility and grace, referring to her own college experience as the foundation for her love of the classroom.

"As a first-generation college student, my horizons of possibility were crucially expanded in literature classrooms in ways that have made the Jesuit model of transformative education personally meaningful to me," she says.

Flack says that in the same way she came to see literature as a vehicle of transformation and the classroom as a sacred place, she now understands the power she has to help students enlarge their own imaginative capacities.

"My ambition is for students to leave my classroom with a clear sense of themselves as readers, writers and thinkers with an appreciation for how literature can be a vehicle for growth and transformation," she says. "My best moments as a teacher are when I can see students recognize that meaningful experiences with great literature have changed them."

Dr. Martin R. St. Maurice
Department of Biological Sciences

There are many reasons why Dr. Martin St. Maurice, associate professor of biological sciences, was named a 2017 recipient of the Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence.

First, St. Maurice is constantly looking for new and more effective methods of teaching and assessment. He also believes developing students' critical thinking skills is more valuable than memorizing facts and concepts.

"I continually assess what works and what doesn't for my students," St. Maurice says. "I study various methods of teaching and have incorporated various techniques into my classroom. For example, I've decreased the use of traditional lectures and increased the use of in-class activities that promote active learning. I've found this to be an extremely effective way to encourage students to draw meaningful connections between concepts."

St. Maurice has also incorporated oral examinations to assess more than 60 students in his biochemistry class.

"I was very nervous coming into this challenging course, especially knowing Dr. St. Maurice gave students oral exams instead of just written ones," student Erin Kallsen says. "However, as I took the class, I found that I loved the subject because Dr. St. Maurice made everything so interesting. His passion for biochemistry was evident in the way he enthusiastically taught the class."

While this is a significant undertaking for St. Maurice, students continue to praise the effectiveness of this unconventional approach through letters, emails and MOCES scores.

"Since joining the Department of Biological Sciences in 2008, Dr. St. Maurice has established himself as one of our most dedicated, most popular and most effective educators," Dr. Edward Blumenthal, chair and associate professor of biological sciences, noted in St. Maurice's nomination letter.


University Honors