Three lecturers have been honored for outstanding contributions to instruction as the 2018-19 Collegiate Lecturers, a title the three will retain throughout their careers at the university.
This year’s recipients, approved by Provost Martin Philbert, are David Chesney, lecturer IV in electrical engineering and computer science; Raymond McDaniel, lecturer IV in the Sweetland Writing Center; and Hartmut Rastalsky, lecturer IV in Germanic languages and literatures.
Each year the university awards up to three Collegiate Lecturer titles to those who demonstrate a sustained record of excellence in teaching and learning, or in service or other contributions to the university.
Applicants are evaluated using one or more of the following criteria:
• A strong commitment to students, and teaching and learning as demonstrated by undertaking activities to advance the quality and practice of teaching and learning at a variety of levels in the classroom, studio or lab.
• Using effective teaching strategies and methods to assess student learning.
• A demonstrable commitment to advising and mentoring students, if applicable.
• A demonstrable impact on students’ intellectual or artistic development.
• Other evidence of exceptional service or other contribution to the university.
For the first two years following the award, Collegiate Lecturers will receive an annual lump-sum payment of $2,000 to support teaching and professional development.
Chesney focuses his courses around creating software “for the greater good.” He was instrumental in the collaboration between the College of Engineering and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital for the formation of the MGC-FEVA Center, which creates hardware and software for children with cognitive and physical disabilities.
Students from Chesney’s classes have developed software for children with cerebral palsy and for those on the autistic spectrum. This commitment to hard work and deep engagement enable his students to have a realistic software development experience that is socially meaningful.
Chesney has earned multiple teaching awards, including the James T. Neubacher Award.
McDaniel is described as a force in the classroom and highly respected adviser. His students praise his personal approach to mentoring and recognize his courses as among the best at the university, describing them as “intellectually provocative” and “not a place to shirk, skip or sleep.”
During the past 20 years at Sweetland, McDaniel has been credited with making significant contributions to undergraduate education through effective and dedicated leadership to the sustainability of the center’s minor. He is also applauded for his instructional flexibility, re-inventing approaches to courses each semester to meet the center’s new initiatives and evolving needs.
His outstanding teaching has also been recognized with an LSA Excellence in Education Award and the English Department’s Ben Prize.
Rastalsky is a revered teacher of undergraduate and graduate students as well as the coordinator of the undergraduate German language program, which includes more than 20 sections per semester. He is a keystone to the success of the unit, highly involved in the teaching and transformation of the language curriculum with a drive to keep up with cultural and technological changes.
As part of his focus on interactive and student-centered learning, he has created online tools such as mobile-enabled flashcards and an interactive grammar tool that has received praise from teachers across the country. Rastalsky’s colleagues highly regard his reflexive and reflective approach to teaching pedagogy and drive for continuous improvement, which is an excellent model for their graduate students.
Rastalsky has also earned the Matthews Underclass Teaching Award and the LSA Excellence in Education Award.
The three lecturers will be honored at a reception in February.