Texas A&M University-Kingsville

New General Education Faculty Teaching Award Recognizes Assistant Chemistry Professor Dr. Jingbo Liu

KINGSVILLE - May 04, 2009

Contact: Jason Marton
jason.marton@tamuk.edu or 361.593.4143

Selected among five total faculty nominated for award

Jingbo LiuDr. Jingbo Liu, assistant professor of chemistry, became the first person to receive a new teaching award at Texas A&M University-Kingsville Thursday, April 30, that recognizes outstanding undergraduate general education faculty.

The General Education Faculty Teaching Award is for faculty who teach classes students take to fulfill their general education requirements, as outlined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Those include classes in communication, mathematics, natural sciences, humanities and visual and performing arts, social and behavioral sciences, computer literacy and kinesiology.

A&M-Kingsville faculty—whether they teach general education classes or not—can  nominate teachers based on a set of criteria that includes knowledge of subject matter, empathy, enthusiasm, accessibility, organization and clarity of explanations. Nominators often cite student evaluation forms in their nominating process.

Liu was among five faculty members nominated for the General Education Faculty Teaching Award. The complete list is as follows:

            Dr. John S. Buckley, lecturer, physics and geosciences
            Dr. Cynthia M. Galloway, professor, biological and health sciences
            Dr. Anders Greenspan, visiting assistant professor, history
            Dr. Michelle Johnson Vela, associate professor, language and literature
            Dr. Jingbo L. Liu, assistant professor, chemistry

Liu was nominated by four faculty members within her department, along with faculty from the departments of biological and health sciences, environmental engineering and electrical engineering and computer science.

Liu’s nominators gave extensive comments on her strengths in teaching general education, research and teaching and general collegiality.

On teaching general education, the nominators noted Liu’s high scores in her annual Student Rating of Instruction relative to the university as a whole. The student comments they referenced included, “Dr. Liu is determined to teach me general chemistry,” “She is funny, brilliant and she really cares,” and “It’s people like you who make students like me succeed.”

On research and teaching, the nominators referenced the fact that Liu has mentored ten undergraduate students, of which four have been May-Mester students, one a Robert A. Welch Scholar, one a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and three graduate students.

And for general collegiality, they said she is a role model to other minorities to break into the sciences, and her success in collaborations with fellow faculty members in and out of her department.

The award was initiated by the university’s General Education Committee (GEC), a group of 11 faculty who evaluate the effectiveness of academic programs and monitor the university’s compliance of general education requirements.

“We wanted to reward faculty who teach students the basics, to reinforce the importance of good teaching in these core courses,” said GEC member Dr. Jacqueline Thomas, Regents Professor of French and director of the Center for Teaching Effectiveness.

“It’s another way to show that the university values teachers’ contribution to the students’ acquisition of a common body of essential knowledge and skills, which will help them in their fields and as members of the community.

“We also want to create a sense of community among these teachers who work in different disciplines, but with a common purpose.”

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