Professors given award for classroom improvements

Four SVSU professors were awarded the Dow Teaching Award for their accomplishments in their field of study.

They received grants to use toward improving their classrooms and to buy class materials.

Aneesha Gogineni, a professor of mechanical engineering, was among the winners.

“The Dow Professor Award is a grant opportunity for faculty to integrate innovative teaching methods in their class that promote pedagogical excellence,” she said. “The Center for Academic Innovation will award funds to faculty, which is provided by the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Academic Development fund.”

Gogineni applied for the grant in January and received $5,500.

“The goal of this grant is to seek funding to incorporate a hands-on active learning approach in thermodynamics class, increase student response and reduce (drop, fail and withdrawal) rates in the course,” she said.

She will use the grant to buy more materials for the class.

“The hands-on active learning approach in the course will be developed by working with The Center for Academic Innovation (CAI) to redesign the course so that it incorporates new low-stake and high-stake assessments,” she said. “Funding will be used to purchase and assemble hands-on materials.”

Gogineni said her goal is to increase classroom engagement and analyze student responses to questions. She will present the data at a conference later next year.

Brandon Haskett, an assistant professor of music, will use his $5,550 grant to buy Ableton Suite and Push 2 MIDI controllers for four computers in the music technology lab.

“Through Push 2 MIDI controllers that work with the software sound libraries that come with Ableton, essentially, this award will allow our students to create new music in a 21st Century model and give them opportunities that foster creativity,” he said.

Haskett will use the grant to help students gain more experiences with recording music.

“It means a lot to have a proposal accepted and awarded,” he said. “I’m passionate about students having these opportunities in the arts, and I think it will provide them opportunities that they don’t current have access to.”

Scott Kowalewski, an associate professor of rhetoric and professional writing, and Bill Williamson, a professor of rhetoric and professional writing, received a combined $4,223.88.

They previously won the award in 2017.

“My colleague, Bill Williamson, and I have been working toward creating the PTW Recording Studio since 2017, when we were also awarded the Dow Professor Award,” Kowalski said. “We used the grant money from that award to establish a podcast and audio production studio. This current grant allows us to expand the studio’s capabilities.”

They will use the grant to add video cameras and accessories.

“I am excited that our students will benefit from an expanded PTW Recording Studio, and I am thankful to the Center for Academic Innovation and Dow Professor endowment for the opportunities to provide these resources to professional and technical writing students,” Kowalewski said.

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