Three faculty recognized for outstanding teaching

TALE's 2020-21 Outstanding Teaching Award recipients named

BLOOMSBURG — Three Bloomsburg University faculty members were named 2020-21 Outstanding Teaching Award recipients by the Teaching and Learning Enhancement (TALE) Center. They were nominated by graduating seniors from the class of 2020-21 and selected by TALE’s Outstanding Teaching Award Committee.

  • Abby Hare-Harris, a Stephen J. Jones Professional U Fellow, is an assistant professor of biological and allied health sciences
  • Michael Huben, a Stephen J. Jones Professional U Fellow, is an instructor of marketing and professional sales
  • Brett McLaurin, a professor of environmental, geographical, and geological sciences

“I am grateful to professors Abby Hare-Harris, Brett McLaurin, Michael Huben, and all our outstanding faculty members who go above and beyond in support of our students and their success,” said President Bashar Hanna.

Hare-Harris’ research fields are human genetics and genomics, and many of her students and advisees earn the medical genomics and counseling certificate. Student nominations emphasized that her courses are tough yet taught with care and patience to ensure every student succeeds. Her rapport with students is exceptional. One student wrote, “She is not an easy professor by any means. She promotes independent thinking and has helped me become a better student and a better person.” Hare-Harris’ life transformative teaching permeated the students’ nominations, and her empathy helps students overcome academic and personal struggles.

Michael Huben joined BU following a career at Merck. Creating bridges between higher education and a career led students to nominate Huben for the outstanding teaching award. A nominator wrote, “Mr. Huben teaches in real-world examples and is able to relate content to everyday life, so students can understand how the lessons will look outside of the classroom.” Huben’s dedication is evident in mentoring students in sales competitions, coaching them on how to network and interview for jobs, and develop leadership qualities.

Brett McLaurin is a geologist specializing in stratigraphy and sedimentology. Students nominating McLaurin spoke of his exceptional ability to combine theory and practice, making every topic relevant and engrossing. One student wrote, “Whenever I had questions, the professor was available and engaged me in possible learning experiences beyond the classroom.” McLaurin creates spaces where students can risk failure, learn from their experiences, and increase confidence in their skills and knowledge. Engaging, caring, hands-on were constant themes in his student nominations.

“These three faculty members exemplify the hard work and dedication all our faculty make to our students in support of their academic success,” said BU Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Diana Rogers-Adkinson. “What is even more remarkable is how they adapted to teaching in a virtual world for the last year, and yet, were able to make strong connections with their students. As provost, I am very proud of their work and offer my congratulations to them.”

All three will receive a plaque and be awarded a professional development stipend sponsored by the BU Foundation.

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