The Catholic University of America

Nov. 6, 2014

Three Professors Honored For Teaching Excellence

 
  University President John Garvey and Very Rev. Mark Morozowich, interim provost, stand with award winning faculty (from left) Ann Corsi, David Bosworth, and Patricia Andrasik.

Three professors were honored Oct. 29 at The Catholic University of America’s Annual Teaching Awards Ceremony and Reception, held at the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center.

With fellow faculty members, staff, family, friends, and President John Garvey in attendance, Very Rev. Mark Morozowich, interim provost, presented the 2014 Faculty Awards for Teaching Excellence to Ann Corsi, associate professor of biology; David Bosworth, associate professor of Old Testament; and Patricia Andrasik, assistant professor of architecture and planning and head of sustainability outreach.

Father Morozowich began the program by reflecting on the role of teachers.

“This great task of teaching calls us to rise to a new level in our development as intellectuals, but also in our role as models,” he said. “This sacred trust given to us calls each of us to reflect, revise, and renew our lectures, our presentations, our assignments as we seek to find better ways to engage our students. We strive for excellence as we strive to inspire a generation that will exceed our accomplishments.”

The provost presented awards in three categories: Teaching Excellence in Early Career, Advancement of Teaching, and Overall Teaching Excellence.

Teaching Excellence in Early Career

 
David Bosworth receives his award from President John Garvey.  

David Bosworth, associate professor in the School of Theology and Religious Studies (STRS), received the Teaching Excellence in Early Career Award. This award is given to the faculty member who has excelled in teaching in fewer than 10 years at the University.

Bosworth earned his B.A. in the Great Books Program from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md., and his M.A. and Ph.D. in biblical studies from Catholic University. Before joining the CUA faculty in 2008, he taught at Mount St. Mary’s College and Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., and Barry University in Miami, Fla.

In his nomination of Bosworth, Monsignor McPartlan, the acting dean of theology and religious studies, wrote that Bosworth is an “expert in the craft of teaching” and described him as “a teacher of teachers.”

Father Morozowich noted that Bosworth is constantly reading and working to improve his teaching and that he created a manual to help faculty mentor doctoral students to aid them in teaching.

“The fruits of this labor of love are apparent in his stellar course evaluations at both the undergraduate and graduate levels,” Father Morozowich said. “Dr. Bosworth is equally successful teaching an introductory lecture class on the Old Testament and a graduate seminar on the Psalms.”

Father Morozowich also read from a few student testimonials, which described Bosworth’s teaching as “inspirational,” “creative,” “validating,” and “humanizing.”

As one undergraduate wrote, “I genuinely take something out of class that I am able to apply to the real world, my faith, and even my ultimate understanding of theology as a whole.”

While accepting his award, Bosworth reflected on the difficulties he faced during his first semester as a professor.

“My first semester as a professor was a disaster,” he said. “I encountered disengagement, poor performance, and widespread plagiarism among my students. In myself, I found pain and misery that led me to seriously question, after years of graduate school, whether I had entered the wrong profession."

After reevaluating his approach to teaching, things improved, Bosworth said. Today, he is grateful for the love and support he received along the way.

“I would like to thank all the many people whose efforts and generosity have brought me from catastrophic failure to this award,” he said. “I never could have gotten here without lots of help from lots of people.”

Advancement of Teaching Award

 
  President John Garvey, Patricia Andrasik, and Very Rev. Mark Morozowich

Patricia Andrasik, assistant professor in the School of Architecture and Planning, was the recipient of this year’s Advancement of Teaching Award, which recognizes creative and innovative contributions to effective teaching, from curriculum development to technological improvements in the delivery of content to the introduction of new courses and areas of study.

Andrasik is a specialist in sustainable architecture who has advocated for sustainability on the CUA campus and developed several new courses that have expanded areas of study for the School of Architecture. In her LEEDLab course, students collaborate with the United States Green Building Council and CUA’s Office of Facilities, Maintenance, and Operations to evaluate the environmental impact of campus buildings, make recommendations, and implement improvements.

The course is the first curricular-based, student administered platform to achieve third-party green certification. LEEDLab allows students to earn qualifications toward LEED Accredited Professional status — credentials that signify an advanced depth of knowledge in green building practices. The course has led to many new sustainable practices and policies on campus.

Last summer, Andrasik’s efforts were recognized when the Edward M. Crough Center for Architectural Studies became the first architecture school building in the world to earn LEED EB:O&M certification. Currently, Andrasik is working on a book which describes how the course can be taught at other universities, and research incentives that can be applied.

Father Morozowich noted that during her time at CUA, Andrasik has worked closely with the University Honors Program and the School of Arts and Sciences to develop an interdisciplinary minor in sustainability. She was a key player in the 2013 Capitol D.C. Harvest entry in the Solar Decathlon for the building’s energy analytics. And she co-founded CatholicARCH with the Schools of Theology and Religious Studies and Philosophy, a discussion group uniting students and teachers to reflect on broad issues of ethics and religion within architecture.

“In her relatively short time as a full-time faculty member at CUA, Professor Andrasik has demonstrated remarkable initiative in collaborating with other units on campus,” said Father Morozowich. “For her spirit of collaboration, her commitment to the mission of the University, and her path-breaking work in the teaching and practice of sustainability, I am delighted to make the award for the Advancement of Teaching to Professor Patricia Andrasik.”

After receiving the award, Andrasik thanked all of those who helped her throughout her career, including her colleagues on the faculty and staff, her students, her administrators, her family, and “the ultimate administrator” — God.

“Advancement in anything takes a risk, but not so much from myself — more so from many, many other people who are willing to take the risks with me,” she said.

Overall Teaching Excellence

 
President John Garvey honors Ann Corsi with her Overall Teaching Excellence award.  

Ann Corsi, associate professor in the Department of Biology, was honored for Overall Teaching Excellence, for 10 or more years of excellent teaching.

Corsi earned her B.S. in biology from Cornell University and her Ph.D in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on the ways in which regulators known as transcription factors contribute to cell specialization by controlling the presence of proteins. By studying the role of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor CeTwist in a model organism known as C. elegans, a nematode (roundworm) that is only 1 mm long and lives in soil, Corsi and her students in the laboratory hope to add to our understanding of craniofacial diseases in humans.

Along with her colleague John Golin, Corsi developed an innovative sophomore-year laboratory curriculum that teaches basic skills by engaging students in cutting-edge biology research. The 300-level sophomore course Investigations in Molecular Cell Biology challenges students to think critically about a question, design an experiment in the laboratory, and develop oral and written communication skills.

“At both the undergraduate and graduate level, Corsi has consistently earned superb evaluations in her courses, not an easy feat in a STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] discipline,” Morozowich said. “In their comments, her students describe her courses as demanding yet rewarding. ‘It was a lot of work,’ writes one student, ‘but I feel that the course was one of the most beneficial at CUA.’”

Corsi said she was very honored to receive the award, which she credited to five factors: CUA’s educational model, which blends a liberal arts tradition with research; her colleagues across campus; her supportive department chair; her colleagues in her own department, particularly Golin; and her family and friends.
Morozowich ended the program by thanking all in attendance, including the honorees.

“I think that honoring our colleagues reminds us of the excellence we strive to achieve in our own teaching,” he said. “It is inspiring and humbling to stand before you, my colleagues, but it is a great moment that we take time aside to recognize and celebrate the greatness of our University.”

 

 

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