Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2008

Faculty Award winner

Kerstin Hamann

 College of Sciences

 Political Science

My commitment to teaching does not end when I walk out of a classroom. To me, teaching means providing students with excellent training in Political Science, equipping them with the necessary skills to succeed in their careers, and helping them to become lifelong learners and to understand an increasingly complex world. I approach learning as a process rather than an outcome, and I believe that students learn more when they are engaged in the material, when they are presented with questions they can answer at the end of a class, and when they learn actively. I encourage active learning through integrating technology, especially in large classes where participation and discussion is sometimes limited. Teaching extends beyond the classroom and also includes supervision of individual students through independent research projects as well as mentoring and advising. I view myself as a lifelong learner both of the material I teach and of new approaches to teaching. To improve my teaching, and my students’ learning, I need to measure the effectiveness of my own teaching. To that end, I engage in the scholarship of teaching and learning. I have discussed my research on student learning at international conferences and published my findings in peer-reviewed journals. Conferences and workshops both at UCF and internationally also allow me to rethink and refine my own teaching strategies. However, I believe that commitment to excellence in undergraduate education goes beyond instruction narrowly defined. Instead, it includes involvement in programmatic and curricular development in my department, at UCF, and nationally in my discipline. I have worked to open up new avenues and opportunities for undergraduates to further their education. I am committed to and engaged in developing and evaluating undergraduate research at UCF, particularly through the CASTL initiative. I have also taken on leadership roles in the American Political Science Association to strength