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Political Science Professor Wins 2008 Teaching Excellence Award


Political Science Professor Wins 2008 Teaching Excellence Award

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) An "ability to facilitate discussions" among students and his patience in answering students' questions, are some of the reasons Brian Harward, assistant professor of political science, recently won the 2008 Teaching Excellence Award at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. It is the most prestigious teaching award a faculty member can receive at SIUE.

Harward received a $2,000 prize as part of the recognition determined by the Teaching Excellence Award Committee. The committee, which consists of faculty and students, also awarded Teaching Distinction Awards to two other faculty members: Jack Glassman, an assistant professor of physics, and Steve Brant, an instructor in the Department of Accounting. They each won $500.

In addition, three other faculty members were given $250 Teaching Recognition Awards-Amelia Siatkowski, an instructor in the School of Nursing; Wendy Cook Mucci, an instructor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies; and Riza Demirer, an assistant professor of economics and finance. All winners will be recognized at the May 10 commencement ceremonies.

Harward earned a master's and a doctorate in political science, both at the University of Georgia at Athens, in 1999 and 2003, respectively. He earned a baccalaureate in 1992 at Gettysburg (PA) College.

Before joining the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences faculty in 2003, Harward held several teaching positions at the University of Georgia and also had been a special project assistant for the American Association for Higher Education in Washington, D. C. According to the committee, Harward was found to be "informative, articulate (and) engaging." One committee member said Harward "was very good at serving as the link between what students just read and what they would read before the next class meeting." Members of the committee said they were impressed with Harward's ability "to facilitate discussions among his students at all levels, from a basic American government class to his constitutional law class."

The committee went on to say Harward responds to student questions "very effectively" and that students feel challenged in his classes, "but thought that being challenged lead them to higher understanding of the material." According to the committee, one student summarized Harward's effect on classes: "He is so passionate about the law that he makes us passionate about the law."

Glassman was recognized by the committee for his "tremendous passion for physics." Committee members said Glassman's "enthusiasm attracted students' attention (until) the end of class." The committee also noted it was impressed by his "profound knowledge of the subject (that) allows him to break complex concepts down to simple notions." The committee members also said that Glassman has an ability to "promote critical thinking skills by challenging his students" and that he also shows patience by "allowing students to learn from their mistakes."

One committee member said that Brant "is not only knowledgeable and well prepared but also embodies enthusiasm in teaching." The committee went on to say Brant "motivates students by encouraging reading and using learning opportunities which include dialogue and discussion." The committee also noted Brant "influences (students') attitudes about the profession "and helps them to critically analyze the data presented."