Six West Virginia University faculty members have been recognized with the University’s 2019 Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching, which honors exceptional professors who go above and beyond to inspire their students. This year’s honorees are:
- Manal AlNatour, associate professor of Arabic Studies
- Dana Huebert Lima, teaching associate professor of Biology and director of the Honors Experiential and Community Engaged Learning Program
- Kimberly Meigh, assistant professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders
- Joshua Osbourn, teaching associate professor of Chemistry
- Audra Slocum, assistant professor of Curriculum and Instruction/Literacy Studies
- Andrea Taliaferro, associate professor of Physical Education Teacher Education
Established in 1985 by the WVU Foundation, the Outstanding Teaching Award honors faculty who are particularly effective and inspiring teachers, as well as faculty who have established patterns of exceptional innovation in their teaching methods, course and curriculum design and instructional tools.
“This year’s Outstanding Teachers all teach in different academic disciplines, but they share the core qualities of exceptional teachers. They all approach their course content creatively, seek to engage their students at all levels in hands-on, engaging learning activities and passionately believe in the power of innovative teaching to train our next generation of experts and change young people’s lives,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joyce McConnell. “We are so proud to count them among our faculty and to honor them with this award.”
Manal AlNatour is the academic leader of Arabic Studies in the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Linguistics and built the program and its minor from the ground up. AlNatour’s students describe her as an inspiring mentor who has encouraged them to pursue competitive scholarships and graduate study. Many of her students have received national awards, such as the Critical Language and Gilman Scholarships. Her courses introduce students to timely global issues such as human rights, feminism, place and identity, war narratives and refugee crises.
Since joining the Department of Biology, Dana Huebert Lima has redesigned the required molecular biology course for sophomores and developed new courses in epigenetics, matters of life and death, nature meets nurture, science communication and stem cell biology. In all her courses, she teaches how biological knowledge is created within a social context and can be applied to our understanding of social issues. Huebert Lima has been honored with both the Honors CollegeOutstanding Adviser Award and the Nicholas Evans Award for Excellence in Advising. She recently became the director of the Honors College EXCEL Program, where she is designing a curriculum to develop and support experiential learning.
An assistant professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Kimberly Meigh teaches courses in speech science, anatomy and physiology and topics related to medical speech-language. Her teaching philosophy centers on a hands-on approach directed at practical application in the field, including her clinical supervision of students in the WVU Speech Clinic. During her five years as director of the Speech Motor Control Lab, Meigh has worked with her students to explore speech motor learning, resulting in a number of national and international presentations, publications, and awards. In 2016, she was awarded the Advancing Academic-Research Careers Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, which provided directed mentoring in research and teaching activities
Joshua Osbourn first developed his passion for teaching as an undergraduate teaching assistant in the C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry at WVU. Since joining the faculty of the department, Osbourn has updated the organic chemistry laboratory curriculum and continues to improve his courses by incorporating student-focused learning initiatives like problem-solving videos, active learning and course prep workshops. Organic chemistry is often one of the most challenging and feared courses on campus; one of Osbourn’s primary goals has been to break the stigma by creating a well-organized, carefully designed course with clear goals and expectations. His course enrollments are typically maxed out, with some students even opting to take organic chemistry as a science elective.
Audra Slocum’s mission of preparing new secondary English teachers is centered around supporting teaching that is academically rigorous, culturally sustainable and critical of social injustice. She teaches undergraduate and graduate secondary English method courses on the teaching of language, critical literacy and self-reflective practice. Since 2012, Slocum has supervised more than 40 student teachers. She also has taught graduate seminars on Appalachian identity, place, and literacy and on research in English Education. She has been the co-director of the National Writing Project at WVU since 2012, a role in which she co-designs and facilitates professional development for K-12 teachers on the teaching of writing and teacher leadership. Through the NWP and in partnership with the WV Council of Teachers of English, she started the annual West Virginia English Language Arts Teacher Conference.
Andrea Taliaferro holds a joint appointment in the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciencesand the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design. She directs the Friday Adapted Physical Education Practicum Program, a partnership with Monongalia County Public Schools that provides weekly developmentally-appropriate physical activity programming to nearly 100 school-aged children with disabilities while also providing hands-on experience for WVU Physical Education Teacher Education and Athletic Coaching Education students. She has contributed to several local, county and statewide initiatives, including McDowell CHOICES and the partnership between the National Inclusion Project and Lifetime Activities Programs.
Each of the six honorees will receive $5,000 in professional development monies from the WVU Foundation and be recognized by McConnell and President Gordon Gee at during a faculty and staff awards dinner at Blaney House.