Honoring Top Faculty Members

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Jill Kruidenier
November 13, 2013

At the 2013 Annual Conference in October, IES Abroad recognized superior faculty members who teach at its Centers abroad. Among these awards were two excellence in teaching awards, Instructor of the Year, and Long-Term Faculty award. This year, there were nearly 300 nominations for Instructor of the Year, comprised of students who attended programs in 24 Centers.

The first awardee of Excellence in Teaching is Professor Ana Martin from IES Abroad Madrid. An outstanding, dynamic and charismatic instructor, students are drawn to her extraordinary qualities: intelligence colored with a great sense of humor and a strong dedication to her students.  She is able to interest students, not only in Spanish language but in Spanish culture.  She inspires students to the point that they have remarked that she “made them forget that they were learning.” According to one nomination, “Professor Martin is one of the most incredible instructors I’ve had to date.  She truly cares about each student, and is able to understand the study abroad experience in its entirety.  Not only did she drastically improve everyone’s Spanish, but she helped us improve as individuals and help us immerse ourselves into the Spanish culture that surrounded us.”

The second recipient of the Excellence in Teaching award is Professor Concha Gonzalez-Badia from IES Abroad Granada. An instructor at IES Abroad since 2005, Professor Badia teaches Spanish language and a course on Lorca and the Andalusian Literary Tradition. She has been especially successful in her work with students at the intermediate level of Spanish language. According to her nominators, "Concha is an amazing teacher.  She was incredibly helpful and always made sure to explain whatever subject we were working on in a way that everyone could understand.  She tried different approaches to teaching, including incorporating games and activities in order to enhance our learning experience.” Another student commented, "Professor Badia’s course on Lorca opened my mind more than any other class I’ve had previously.  It was vital to my study abroad experience.”

The Instructor of the Year award was earned by Dr. Cinzia Pezzolesi from IES Abroad London, who was instrumental in helping to develop the new Health Practice & Policy program in our London Center. This ambitious program culminates with a ten-day field study in Kingston, Jamaica at the University of the West Indies School of Nursing, and engages the students in a practicum at comprehensive community health clinics in Kingston. IES Abroad London Center Director, John Ockey, describes her as a teacher who "cares deeply about the personal development of her students, and this goal informs everything she plans and does.  She is able to strike the perfect balance with the students in being both a mentor, and a friend." Professor Pezzolesi’s students call her "an incredible instructor, not only for her tremendous knowledge on her fields of study or her ability to convey key concepts, but for her genuine interest in her students.  She encouraged us to really engage in our service projects, both in London and Jamaica.”

The recipient of the Long Term Faculty Award was IES Abroad Vienna's Margarete Schachermeier. Margarete understands the finesse necessary to get to the meaning of texts but her credo as an instructor is the embrace of the whole communication experience. She has taught all levels of the German language that are offered at IES Abroad Vienna, as well as the popular Cultural History of Austria, which is taught in German. Recently, she launched a Business German course to complement the new influx of business students in the spring semester. One student remarked, "Frau Schachermeier was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. Not only is she intelligent and a helpful instructor, but she is also one of the kindest people I know. I learned so much through her class – about language, culture and myself.  She is by far the best teacher at IES Abroad Vienna."

Congratulations and thank you to all four faculty members for their dedication to IES Abroad students!

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Jill Kruidenier

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