Salem State University has announced the two 2017 winners of its annual Distinguished Teaching Award: visiting associate professor of psychology and Marblehead resident Melissa Kaplowitch (non-tenure track recipient) and professor of dance in the music and dance department and Medford resident Meghan K. McLyman (tenure track recipient).
The annual award publically acknowledges the core mission of the university through recognition of those faculty members who have profoundly inspired and engaged students. Each year students, faculty and staff nominate faculty members who participate in a rigorous review process consisting of a classroom observation, analysis of student surveys and review of a teaching portfolio consisting of a syllabus, examples of student work, letters of support and descriptions of teaching philosophy and growth.
“Salem State’s faculty are committed to excellence in their teaching,” said David Silva, PhD, provost and academic vice president at Salem State University. “These awards honor the outstanding work of all of our educators, while each year recognizing the specific efforts of two faculty members who have gone above and beyond to have an impact on their students’ lives.”
Members of the selection committee evaluated portfolios and reviewed surveys administered to students in two classes of each candidate. Classroom observations were conducted among a selection of candidates and extensive discussions were held to finally select this year’s recipients.
As one of professor Kaplowitch’s students noted: “Melissa is a wonderful professor. She has extensive knowledge in the field, and I constantly find myself asking her questions about the material, as well as material we have yet to discover. She is very quick to respond to emails and answers questions fully. She is always checking in to see if there are things she needs to work on to better adapt to our learning--she certainly deserves this award; she's definitely the best professor this university has.”
Similarly, one of professor McLyman’s students shared: “During the week I look forward to having Meghan's class the most. Each time I leave her class I feel fresh and rejuvenated in my mind and body. She provides us with information in an exciting light. Meghan sends out positive energy within her teaching, whether it be through a power point or a physical exercise, she makes me wish class would never end. I can truly say this is the first time in my life I have ever learned and understood so much in one course, and that is thanks to Meghan. There is no one more deserving of this award than she.”
Professors McLyman and Kaplowitch will be recognized at commencement ceremonies in May. Their awards will be presented to them formally as part of the university’s annual convocation in September.