9 recognized with award for superior teaching

Nine faculty received the 2017 George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching, which honors top Rice instructors as determined by the votes of alumni who graduated within the past two, three and five years. Below are the recipients and their comments about the most important lesson they hope their students will remember five years after graduation.

Beth Beason-Abmayr

Beth Beason-Abmayr

Beth Beason-Abmayr, professor in the practice of biosciences

I hope my students still think independently, evaluate critically, and communicate effectively so they can achieve their goals and face challenges when the unexpected happens. I hope they never lose sight of the big picture and always recognize the value of being lifelong learners.

Luis Duno-Gottberg

Luis Duno-Gottberg

Luis Duno-Gottberg, department chair and associate professor of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American studies

“I would like my students to remember a phrase I often say while traveling with them and something doesn’t go as planned or we confront some challenge. I often say, in those circumstances: ‘Hay que resolver!’ The phrase became popular during Cuba’s Special Period, when the dissolution of the Soviet Union prompted a dramatic economic crisis. The idea is that in face of difficulties, one has to be resourceful and keep on pushing forward. This becomes more than a mantra of survival but also the conviction that resilience involves a level flexibility and creativity. In life, quite often, ‘Hay que resolver!’”

Marcia O’Malley

Marcia O’Malley

Marcia O’Malley, professor of mechanical engineering and computer science

“I emphasize in my classes the value of underlying theory and also the importance of approximations and modeling. I hope my students remember to step back and ask themselves if the approach they are taking to solve engineering problems is at the right level of detail and specificity — not too deep and not too broad. And I hope they remember to keep in touch and share news of their successes and accomplishments!”

Caleb McDaniel, associate professor of history

Caleb McDaniel

Caleb McDaniel

“Claims about the American past appear all the time in our public discourse and on all sides of the political spectrum. Often, those claims are oversimplified or just plain lacking in good evidence to support them. I hope that whenever my former students hear claims about events like the Civil War or institutions like slavery, the historical thinking skills that they learned in my classes will continue to kick in. Hopefully, those classes have taught them that figuring out what happened in the past is hard and important work, that interpretations of history will always be contested and open to debate, but also that some historical arguments are much better than others.”

 

Sandra Parsons

Sandra Parsons

Sandra Parsons, assistant teaching professor in psychology

“I hope that all of my students remember the tremendous power that they have to change their worlds by being quick to forgive perceived slights and slow to assume the worst about other people’s motives.”

 

 

 

Renata Ramos

Renata Ramos

Renata Ramos, lecturer of bioengineering

“I hope my students remember that making mistakes is just a way of learning and that what really matters is how we react to and learn from them. I want them to remember to always work hard and enjoy life; they have the technical skills to solve meaningful problems in the world, but they will only get there if they are diligent and passionate about what they do.”

 

 

Ann Saterbak

Ann Saterbak

Ann Saterbak, professor in the practice of bioengineering education

“I hope that students who have taken a class from me will remember that hard work matters. While not always rewarded with a top grade or a perfect prototype, giving a project your best matters because it is in that hard work where you have the greatest capacity for learning.”

 

 

 

Edmund Segner

Edmund Segner

Edmund Segner, professor of the practice in civil engineering management

“I am hopeful that our graduates will remember that their personal ethics and professional integrity may require that they quit their job and move to on to a new opportunity. Our personal integrity is our most important asset and it is to be cherished and protected.”

 

 

John Zammito

John Zammito

John Zammito, the John Antony Weir Professor of History

“The most important lesson to remember five years out from graduation is that the years of undergraduate education at Rice were aimed to empower students with the confidence and the skills to keep inventing themselves and growing as they encounter ever new experiences.”

About Arie Passwaters

Arie Wilson Passwaters is a Web editor in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.