From the series Faculty Awards for Excellence 2018

Presidential Award for Outstanding NTE Faculty: Teaching

Kerry Martin

Kerry Martin

Kerry Martin, an instructor of economics, received the 2018 Presidential Award for Outstanding Non-Tenure (NTE) Faculty: Teaching for her effective instruction of a sometimes-difficult subject.

Many of Martin’s students call her one of the best professors they have ever had. She has greatly improved student success in her classes, which students often cite as some of the most difficult classes they have to take. This accomplishment is a primary result of Martin’s ability to inspire high levels of effort and determination from her students through meticulous planning and effort on her part.

Evan Osborne, professor and former interim chair of the Department of Economics, said Martin is one of the best teachers he has ever encountered and student reviews for Martin are overwhelmingly positive.

“I have never seen their like before,” he said. “First, her students learn, often in subjects where learning does not always come easy. Second, almost every last one of the student’s own remarks about her attitude toward teaching describe her as someone who is truly dedicated to working as hard as necessary to ensure they learn.”

One of Martin’s courses, Elementary Mathematical Economic and Business Models and Methods, teaches Raj Soin College of Business students math skills they might need later in the curriculum. Coming into the class, many students say they have struggled with math in the past, but through Martin’s teaching, the concepts make more sense and become clear to them.

Students praise Martin for her dedication. She arrives early and stays late during the class period to assist students with questions they have. Many students also say that although the class is challenging Martin makes it interesting and exciting.

Students are not the only ones who see Martin’s effectiveness as a teacher. Her peers speak exceedingly highly of her, and she received a 2017 Raj Soin College of Business Teaching Award.

Some of Martin’s methods involve using demonstrations and experiments in class such as sectioning off a portion of the classroom with caution tape to demonstrate a scarcity situation or running an auction to simulate trade and exchange rates of currency between countries and using relevant pop culture examples to explain concepts like ticket scalping. She devotes the last 15 minutes of class to student group work on application problems, giving Martin the chance to circulate the room and provide assistance as students bridge the gap between learning about the concepts to actually applying them.

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