American University of Beirut

AUB awards faculty for teaching excellence and innovation in teaching with technology

​​​​Safa Jafari Safa, Office of Communications,​​

AUB Teaching Excellence Award

This year's Teaching Excellence Award was granted to Dr. Rouwaida Kanj, associate professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, and to Dr. Sally Temraz, associate professor of clinical specialty at the Department of Internal Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine. This annual award honors educators who have exhibited excellence in teaching and effectiveness in advancing AUB's educational mission through instruction, mentoring, services and professional development, and innovation.

Dr. Rouwaida Kanj, tenured associate professor, was referred to in her nominations as “a true educator, mentor, and idol" who “never fails to give her best and to dedicate her time to make her students understand her courses." She was commended for her eagerness to share knowledge, experience, patience, and her style in teaching and contributions to course and lab work that made them favorites for the students. Nominations stated, “Dr. Rouwaida is a gift that I hope future generations will get a chance to meet and learn from!" and “Dr. Rouwaida is on my list of all-time favorite idols."

Dr. Sally Temraz is a hematologist and an oncologist in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at AUBMC/Naef K. Basile Cancer Institute. She was described as a true clinical role model, a distinguished mentor and advisor, and an inspirational educator to many. She was nominated as “an enthusiastic lecturer who is deeply invested in student education and welcoming of any suggestions that would improve students' experience in the course." She was commended for holding discussions with her students as essential members of the medical team, engaging students in her unique teaching methodology, and contributing to the development of medical education programs and postgraduate residency and fellowship training programs.

AUB Innovation in Teaching with Technology Award

An additional award was created by the Office of the Provost and included in this year's call for nominations. The Innovation in Teaching with Technology Award recognizes faculty members that best demonstrate the creative use of instructional technologies and innovative tools in impactful teaching of a course that is delivered in a blended or online format. All nominees were asked to submit an innovation package or proposal that explains how they achieved excellence in teaching through the use of innovation and online technology tools.

Two professors were shortlisted for the inaugural award: Dr. Blake Atwood, associate professor of media studies and chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Media Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Alissar Yehya, assistant professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture.

Dr. Blake Atwood, who submitted a proposal titled “Learning to learn online with Google Sheets," was commended in the nominations as “an exceptional professor who made the transition to online learning seamless" and “was able to continue fostering the sense of community that was present in our physical class" helping the students feel comfortable to easily participate online. His Zoom sessions were described as always engaging, with no shortage of fun, educational activities and interesting discussions.

Dr. Alissar Yehya, who is also an associate researcher at Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, submitted a proposal titled “Learning is a social activity!" She was commended for her “honorable efforts" and “her genuine attempts at delivering the most authentic learning experience that can be attained in such disparaging times, through the adoption of groundbreaking learning strategies." Nominations stated that Yehya “successfully solicited her class's tremendous attention through her effective and diversified utilization of numerous, universally-accessible online software."

“The awardees competed in a very challenging year against extremely strong pools of candidates, and I would like to take this opportunity to recognize all the candidates for their remarkable achievements and commitment to their students' success," said Interim Provost Lina Choueiri in an announcement to the AUB community.

All awardees were selected based on demonstrated evidence after two rounds of evaluation, review, and voting that were conducted by two committees. This year, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)​ received 26 nominations for teaching excellence and 10 nominations for innovation in teaching with technology. The CTL handles the logistics of the nomination, review, and awarding process.​


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