June 24, 2021

Innovation, grit in teaching during pandemic earn further recognition for 25 awardees

The Teaching Academy and the Office of the Provost at Purdue congratulate 25 individuals and teams of faculty, instructors, staff and graduate students who have been selected for special recognition in Round 2 of the Award for Exceptional Teaching and Instructional Support during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  

This award was established to recognize exceptional effort in innovative, effective, and above all safe ways to teach students during this pandemic year. Faculty and staff have worked tirelessly across the University to pivot to online learning, find new approaches to helping students learn, and to support students materially and emotionally throughout these difficult months.

In Round 1, unit heads nominated faculty, graduate students, and staff for their exceptional efforts in several categories: instruction using multiple technologies; support and mentoring of new instructional approaches; innovative teaching; and safe engagement and support of students. All Round 1 awardees were invited to submit self-nominations for Round 2. Recipients for this final round were chosen based on the reach, impact and innovation of their efforts to deliver safe, effective and inspiring instruction over the past 14 months. Three teams and 22 individual awardees will receive a certificate and a cash award.

Twenty-four members of the Teaching Academy served as reviewers for Round 2 of the award. The Teaching Academy and provost thank them and the ad hoc award committee: Cale Bigelow, Kristina Bross, Jennifer Hall, Rachael Kenney, Jane Krause, Chuck Krousgrill and Libby Richards. 


First-Year Engineering faculty and staff in ENGR 131/132, College of Engineering. Also, in a recent video, Donna Riley, the Kamyar Haghighi Head of the School of Engineering Education, reflected on the many outstanding accomplishments of the faculty, staff and students during the COVID-19 pandemic. She was interviewed by Harry Nguyen, a student in First-Year Engineering, who shared a candid conversation about his perspective as an incoming Boilermaker.

  • Isabel Jimenez-Useche
  • Nicole Towner
  • Anne DeLion
  • Jill Folkerts
  • Jim Whitford
  • Allison Godwin
  • Tamara Moore
  • Larry Nies
  • Matt Ohland
  • Senay Purzer
  • Iryna Ashby
  • Danilo Branco
  • Krishna Chetty
  • Dominik Hauger
  • Ruben Lopez
  • Bhavini Singh

Impact X Team, Innovative Learning, Center for Instructional Excellence

  • Mel Edwards
  • Rachel Fundator
  • Daniel Guberman
  • Erica Lott
  • Allison Russell

School of Construction Management Capstone Team, Polytechnic Institute

  • Luciana Debs
  • Danny Wyman
  • Rabita Rajkarnikar
  • Cy Rangel
  • Clark Cory
  • Brad Benhart


  • Colleen Banter, assistant director, Exploratory Studies
  • John (Bo) Blew, graduate student, History, College of Liberal Arts
  • John Cavaletto, teaching laboratories coordinator, Botany and Plant Pathology, College of Agriculture
  • Dinah Dalder, clinical assistant professor, Nutrition Science, College of Health and Human Sciences
  • Robert Deadman, clinical assistant professor, Computer and Information Technology, Polytechnic Institute
  • Nathalie Duval-Couetil, professor, Technology Leadership and Innovation, Polytechnic Institute
  • Kari Ekenstedt, assistant professor, Basic Medical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Dino Felluga, professor, English, College of Liberal Arts
  • Howard Fooksman, senior educational technology consultant, TLT/Innovative Learning, IT Teaching and Learning Technologies
  • Tara Grillos, assistant professor, Political Science, College of Liberal Arts
  • Heather Howard, assistant professor, Libraries and School of Information Studies
  • Ryan Kornegay, graduate student, Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication. College of Agriculture
  • Alexus Maschinot, instructional designer, Innovative Learning-Course Development, IT Teaching and Learning Technologies
  • Philip Mummert, assistant head and lecturer, Mathematics, College of Science
  • Alaina Orchard, program specialist, Programs for Study Abroad
  • Eric Palmer, clinical assistant professor, Nursing, College of Health and Human Sciences
  • Rachel Ploskonka, clinical assistant professor, Educational Studies, College of Education
  • Craig Thompson, clinical associate professor, Comparative Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • David Umulis, professor, Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, colleges of Agriculture and Engineering
  • Jason Ware, clinical assistant professor, Honors College
  • Carl Wassgren, professor, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Qi (Tony) Zhou, associate professor, Industrial and Physical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy

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