Each spring, West Virginia University recognizes selected faculty members for their exceptional and innovative teaching. This year, the 2022 WVU Foundation Awards for Outstanding Teaching honors three faculty members:
• Lisa Ingram, a tenured extension assistant professor in 4-H Youth Development with WVU Extension.
• Aimee Moorewood, professor in the College of Education and Human Services’ Department of Curriculum & Instruction, Literacy Studies.
• Mark Paternostro, professor, teaching scientist and associate chair for education in the School of Medicine’s Department of Physiology and Pharmacology.
“Each year, the University recognizes faculty members for their exceptional teaching efforts, both within the University and across our communities,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maryanne Reed said. “This year’s three honorees are a prime example of the talented and dedicated educators we have at WVU. This prestigious award honors their commitment to their students and to the art and science of teaching."
Ingram is recognized for her responsiveness to community concerns, creative design and extensive dissemination of curriculum to her constituents. For example, in response to a rise in incidents of social media bullying between students, she developed and delivered her cyber-bullying and internet curriculum to 2,180 students in kindergarten through 12th grade and 146 adults in Marshall County. Ingram has also helped design a state-wide curriculum on cyberbullying for K-8th graders and has presented “I RESPECT You: Camping Inclusion Activities” to 94 camping professionals from 21 states at the American Camping Association National Conference.
She has made innovative modifications to the “Catch Your Breath” curriculum to address the local rise in youth vaping/juuling, which has been offered to 764 youth teachers, counselors and parents in Marshall and Ohio counties. Ingram presented her “Hazards of Vaping –Train the Trainer” session to 41 West Virginia Extension specialists so that they can likewise offer the training to their constituents. This particular workshop earned a 2021 Communicator Award for media presentation from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, and an information brochure she created on vaping was recognized in 2020 in the educational category.
Morewood is recognized for her long-standing exceptional teaching effectiveness and for creating innovative, meaningful online learning experiences that have lasting impacts on students in the literacy education program at WVU. Morewood started her higher education career at WVU in 2007, and since this time, nearly 100% of the program’s graduates she trained passed the required Praxis exam established by the West Virginia Department of Education. WVU’s literacy education program was the first fully-online program in the country to have achieved the International Literacy Association’s National Recognition with Certificate of Distinction, honoring its rigorous standards and preparation of literacy professionals.
Morewood and her colleagues designed the conceptual model that serves as the foundation for the online literacy education program. The article describing this conceptual model recently won the Elizabeth G. Sturtevant Exemplary Article Award from the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers. The award committee was also impressed by Morewood’s seamless integration of her research agenda and service work to support practicing teachers. Morewood has acquired more than $375,000 from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to support West Virginia teachers as they worked to increase their literacy content, pedagogy and curricular knowledge. She has served as the principal investigator and co-PI on these grants, designing and facilitating the projects and teaching courses specifically designed for preschool teachers. In addition to graduate-level reading courses, the grants supported preschool teachers to pursue National Board Teacher Certification. To date, 90% of the grant participants who pursued the certification were successful.
Paternostro is recognized for his outstanding teaching effectiveness, innovative teaching methods, significant curricular contributions and efforts to support his students and colleagues. He is an equally effective and exceptional teacher in small and large classes, as well as in person and asynchronous learning environments with undergraduate, graduate and medical professional students. Paternostro’s primary focus is student success in learning large amounts of complex materials. The committee noted his efforts to significantly shift courses to virtual delivery over the last two years and multiple pages of student feedback documenting his effective teaching in the virtual space.
Paternostro’s teaching strategies for creating a content-driven, student-friendly asynchronous learning environment included organized, shorter to-the-point virtual lectures, organized weekly content online, bolded keywords and color-coded cues, hiding passwords within lectures that translated to bonus points and a short video showing students how to organize content using flow charts and concept maps for efficient studying. He also utilized self-assessment exercises, weekly emails with class reminders, personal anecdotes, words of encouragement and an inclusive learning community. Paternostro regularly presents his research on large-group teaching and has received multiple teaching awards and recognitions in his college.
Faculty members must be nominated by their college leadership in order to be eligible for the Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching. Each of the honorees will receive $5,000 in professional development monies from the WVU Foundation.
Established in 1985 by the WVU Foundation, the Outstanding Teaching Awards recognize faculty who are particularly effective and inspiring teachers, as well as those who have established patterns of exceptional innovation in their teaching methods, course and curriculum design and instructional tools.