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February 21, 2022

On Feb. 28, the Graduate College will award four graduate students from the University of Arizona with the Outstanding Faculty Teacher Awards. Now, in its 35th year, the Outstanding Teachers-Teachers Awards commemorate outstanding faculty members for their contributions to the community of graduate and graduate students through mentoring.

Active, dedicated teachers not only offer coaching, modeling, and feedback in academic and career development, but provide the necessary psychosocial and interpersonal connections and support.

Four laureate senior lecturers (left): Carl Firet, Heather Bateman, Janet Naiswander and Jeffrey Jensen.

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“Mentors are essential to the success of graduate students both in their academic pursuits and in their professional careers,” said Elizabeth Wentz, vice-chancellor and dean of the ADU Graduate College. “Teacher mentoring is not only one of the most important parts of being a graduate teacher, but can also be one of the most rewarding.”

Nominated by their graduate and postgraduate students, the laureates come from all levels of faculty – staff, staff, non-professional, clinical, teaching and postdoctoral advisers.

This year’s event will be held virtually. Register to attend the Outstanding Teachers Award Ceremony.

2021-22 Outstanding faculty teachers

An excellent postdoctoral teacher
Jeffrey Jensen, Professor of the School of Life Sciences

Jensen is a population geneticist and professor at the School of Life Sciences, the Center for Evolution and Medicine, and the Center for the Mechanisms of Evolution. For many years Jensen has been a mentor to 22 doctoral students and numerous undergraduate and graduate researchers.

“I have been fortunate to hire many talented and highly motivated lab members, and I have maintained a strong focus on mentoring and inclusion in my lab’s 12-year existence,” Jensen said.

Jenson’s lab studies theoretical and computational population genetics and evolutionary genomics, with research funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Defense, the European Research Council and the Swiss NSF, and most recently by NIH researchers. PEACE AWARD.

Parul Johri, a postdoc who has worked at Jenson’s lab for the past three years and is one of his wards, highlights Jenson’s investment in his students ’future. She notes that he provides thorough and constructive feedback and has been a constant source of motivation and support throughout her job application process.

“I’ve never seen a better teacher in my entire academic career,” Johr said.

Jensen earned a bachelor’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology and biological anthropology from the University of Arizona. He earned a Ph.D. in genetics from Cornell University and continued to pursue doctoral studies as a member of the National Science Foundation at the University of California, San Diego and the University of California, Berkeley.

During his studies, Jenson was instructed by many eminent researchers in the field of evolution, including Charles Aquadra, Doris Bachtrog, Brian Charlesworth and Rasmus Nielsen. In turn, he recognizes the importance of mentoring and hopes to inspire and guide his wards, as his teachers did for him.

An excellent master’s teacher
Heather Bateman, Associate Professor of the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts

Bateman is a field ecologist and conservation biologist with research interests in wildlife responses to habitat change, with a special focus on amphibians, reptiles and birds. In addition to teaching herpetology and ornithology at ADU, Bateman instructs undergraduate and graduate students in wildlife ecology.

“Heather is a comprehensive and supportive advisor who does her best to make the college experience great for her students and graduate students,” said Brett Montgomery, one of Bateman’s wards.

Montgomery was a student in Bateman’s lab as an ASU student, and six years later is completing a master’s degree under Bateman under a sponsorship project. He said Bateman is always ready to help with navigating the “difficult terrain of academia”.

Bateman acknowledges that graduate school can be very stressful, but also notes that it can be a time of great joy.

“As wildlife ecologists, we work in some of the most inspiring environments, studying fascinating and rare organisms,” Bateman said. “You’ll never forget the first time you saw Gil’s monster in the wild or experience monsoon storms on a summer hike!”

Bateman holds a bachelor’s degree in ecology from the University of Idaho, a master’s degree in biology from the University of Eastern Washington and a doctorate in biology from the University of New Mexico.

An excellent teacher teacher
Carl Firet, Associate Professor at Mary Lou Fulton College of Education

Firetta is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology in the Teacher Training Department at Mary Lou Fulton College of Education. Her research aims to help high-level students understand complex texts and content through the use of small group discussions. Firet’s passion for teaching and education shaped her approach to mentoring.

“Constant in all my teaching relationships, from undergraduate to graduate, my goal is to better prepare those I teach for deep and critical reflection that can ultimately serve them academically, professionally and personally,” he said. Fireta.

Emily Starrett, one of Firetto’s wards, said Firetto had given advice on narrowing her focus on future research and career paths. Starrett is currently conducting independent research with Firetto to gain experience teaching an online undergraduate course.

“All this work, as well as the support she gives me as my doctoral advisor, helps me move towards a successful academic career,” Starrett said.

Firet earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Thiel College, a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate in educational psychology, also from the University of Pennsylvania.

An excellent doctoral student
Janet Neissevander, Professor of the School of Life Sciences

Neisewander is a behavioral neurologist who uses animal models to study the mechanisms of drug abuse, focusing primarily on cocaine and nicotine. She has been teaching at ADU for over 20 years and has mentored many undergraduate and graduate students.

According to Mark Namba, PhD in Neurology and one of her wards, Neisewander is an ardent, attentive and supportive teacher.

“I have never felt so wanted in science as in Dr. Neisenwader’s lab,” Namba said. “Doctor. Neisewander has a unique way to make everyone in the room feel heard, noticed and respected, always listening to their trainees and making sure their needs are met. ”

Namba describes Neisevander as “an unwavering supporter of (his) career,” and upon entering her lab, he says his graduate career flourished.

Neissevander earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology from Rockford University, a Ph.D. in behavioral and neural research from the University of Kentucky. She also completed graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She is grateful for the teachers she has had throughout her academic career.

“I deeply appreciate that my teachers have selflessly helped me grow professionally and personally,” Neisevander said. “The ability to serve my graduate students in this capacity is very useful. Our mutual growth, achievements and even disappointments allow us to form connections that go beyond their days at ASU. ”

Join the Graduate College to celebrate the outstanding teachers of the 2021-22 faculty. Sign up for a virtual reception today.

Written by Jenny Nabors

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