Kerrigan earns Mediated Teaching Award for January

HAYS, KS -- Dr. John Kerrigan, assistant professor of English at Fort Hays State University, has been named by a faculty recognition committee as the recipient of the university's Outstanding Mediated Teaching Award for his performance in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The faculty recognition program rewards outstanding teacher innovators and outstanding mediated classroom teachers from each of the four colleges of the university. Two other special awards -- Teacher/Scholar/Innovator of the Year and Faculty Advisor of the Year -- are also part of the program. Recipients are selected by a committee chaired or appointed by the respective college deans.

One award is given each month over the period August through May. The award includes a check for $300 and a university lapel pin that signifies teaching excellence. Two-thirds of the financial award is provided by the university and the other third comes from Commerce Bank of Hays, which established a fund with the university to help recognize outstanding faculty teaching.

To win the Outstanding Mediated Teaching Award, a faculty member must use innovative approaches for instruction and show evidence of original contribution and increased learning effectiveness.

Speaking on behalf of the selection committee, Dr. Richard Heil, associate professor of political science, said, "Dr. Kerrigan has developed classroom techniques that overcome what he sees as the possible incongruity between his goal of active learning in the classroom and the fact that technology can lead to student passivity by merely watching pictures on the screen. Dr. Kerrigan has developed a Web page for each of his classes as a supplement to regular classroom interaction. During the fall 2001 semester, Kerrigan linked two of his classes together through the use of technology. Essays written by Kerrigan's English Composition class were submitted to his upper-level Theories of Rhetoric and Composition class to gain experience in tutoring and evaluating real writing."

Kerrigan continued, "Several important goals were achieved. Among these was the improvement of the English composition papers and the practical experience future English teachers used to draw on their tutoring experience as they begin to formulate their own theoretical ideas and philosophy of teaching writing."

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