The TeachOnline Faculty TOAST Awards: Passion and Presence
The annual TeachOnline Awards to Spur Transformation (TOAST) event took place on Wednesday, April 19, at the University of St. Thomas-Houston Link Lee Mansion to recognize Dr. Mark Amelang, Dr. Juan Cooper, Dr. Francesca Guerri, Sr. Theresa Marie Nguyen, Dr. Michael Sullivan, and Dr. Sana Vawda.
With Dr. James Monaghan as host, UST President Richard Ludwick and VPAA Dr. Christopher Evans spoke to open the TOAST Awards event[AR1] . Dr. Brady Knapp, chair of the Music Department, was at the piano to accompany his student vocalists, Lauren Henderson Turner, mezzo-soprano, Master in Sacred Music candidate, and Evio'n Evanson, tenor, undergraduate, as they honored the faculty at the event.
Faculty who attended heard the award recipients speak on this year's theme of passion and presence, available for viewing at the TeachOnline TOAST Awards Website.
Dr. Mark Amelang, MBA, Ed.D.
Dr. Amelang integrates the Catholic mission of honesty into sales. He maintains a consistent presence in his business classes with announcements and other forms of communication. He uses open educational resources (OERs) for students to have access to the textbook from day one.
Juan Cooper, Ph.D., LPC, CSC
Dr. Cooper consistently offers students a transformative learning experience for seeking to become school counselors. She focuses on their outcomes and the importance of the whole child. Dr. Cooper's courses align, engage, and fully prepare her students for certification with a 100% passing rate.
Francesca Guerri, Ph.D.
Dr. Guerri's passion for history is on display in the assignments she gives to her students. She is open to collaboration in the instructional design process to achieve transformative student learning experiences. Her use of modern real-life scenarios in the assignment of curating an Instagram page as they would for a museum or institution was an innovative way for students to combine class knowledge, audiovisual content and multimedia skills.
Sr. Theresa Marie Nguyen, Ph.D., O.P.
Sr. Theresa pursues her vocation for teaching and learning by applying online learning principles in her online courses. She engages her students from start to finish with conversation and reflection. Her use of humor to break the ice and let students feel more comfortable in her presence and in that of other classmates has been integral for the student's ability to reflect and think on what they've learned during her courses.
Mike Sullivan, Dbe, HED-C, FACHE
Dr. Sullivan works with students in Nurse 4655: Transitions to Holistic Nursing. He builds a community of learning by making students feel confident in their skills, knowledge, and nursing as a Christian vocation. He supports students throughout the course by giving them interview tips and ensuring they are in a positive mental state as they prepare for their licensure exams.
Sana Vawda, Ph.D., LPC, LCDC
Dr. Vawda's online courses are comprehensive in guiding students throughout the learning process by ensuring they have adequate academic and supplemental support. She communicates effectively with students through her use of Blackboard Announcements and e-mails. She also provides an effortless organization and communication within her course for students to assist in their learning.
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