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College of Natural Science awards teaching prizes to Fairbourn and Keane

STT Instructors Camille Fairbourn and John Keane were each awarded the 2021-22 College of Natural Science Faculty Teaching Prize in November. Each year, CNS recognizes teaching excellence by awarding the Faculty Teaching Prize to select fixed-term and tenure-system faculty. Both instructors were nominated by STT Professor Dr. Frederi Viens.

Camille Fairbourn is an excellent teacher because of the care and attention to detail she brings to her work every day. She values the student experience above all else. Camille is an extraordinary curriculum developer, and she goes beyond merely applying state-of-the-art research-validated methodology. She thinks through it carefully and critically, adapting it to the new ways in which the statistics profession is hoping to handle the so-called reproducibility crisis in science. Even before our instructional lives were upended by the pandemic, outsizing her role in the department, she was working tirelessly to reorganize STT 200 and its learning objectives and strategies. (Excerpt from Dr. Viens’ nomination letter)

“I greatly appreciate the honor of receiving this recognition from our colleagues in the College of Natural Science and thank those in the department who nominated me for this award,” said Fairbourn. “I also really appreciate the team of STT instructors, graduate students, and undergraduate learning assistants who have contributed and helped my efforts in creating a good learning experience for MSU students in STT 200.”

John Keane integrates new technological tools and best practices, including active-learning strategies, from his knowledge of current statistics and STEM education research. He keeps in contact with the broader STEM education research communities because he feels this is a necessary condition for performing at the highest level as a STEM educator. He has been and continues to be integral to STT’s success in renovating our undergraduate offerings. This is particularly important because of the increasing demand for statistics courses. Keane aligns with the American Statistical Association’s GAISE recommendations for designed class activities, making use of scientific practices from the so-called 3-Dimensional Learning (3DL) Framework of the Next Generation Science Standards organization. He has presented his ideas at several refereed academic conferences. (Excerpt from Dr. Viens’ nomination letter)

“I am pleased and grateful for this recognition, which is a great morale-booster that will encourage me to continue doing my best work!” said Keane.  “I am also very appreciative of those who recommended me and to the time and effort they put into this annual award process. It's a joy to work with introductory statistics courses and the cornucopia of majors they serve; as Tukey said, ‘The best thing about being a statistician is that you get to play in everyone's backyard!’ I am excited to continue my own instructional development and proselytize the importance of statistics to solving the social and global challenges MSU students will help meet in semesters to come.”

“I feel extremely proud of this achievement by my colleagues, Camille and John,” said Dr. Lyudmila Sakhanenko, STT Interim Chair and Professor.  “Their work has produced a significant impact on the undergraduate students across the university.”