The NMSU Teaching Academy supports Vision 2020 by seeking to improve student learning by providing professional development to NMSU educators in teaching, leadership, and mentoring. The Academy helps NMSU educators develop extraordinary teaching lives embedded in stellar careers.
Most Distinguished Member
Conni DeBlieck, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, joined NMSU in 2012. Her research interests include stress reduction management using bioinformatics and guided implementation of nursing student success habits, a concept-based learning curriculum, and the health benefits of journaling within nursing simulations. Dr. DeBlieck has worked as a surgical nurse, clinical nurse educator, and is currently the RN-BSN coordinator at NMSU. She led a team of faculty members to implement nursing simulation and and academic electronic medical record system across the BSN curriculum. She is the co-developer of a mobile app, Student Success Keeper, that assists students in monitoring their study and health habits. She is a co-PI in a study related to anxiety and stress using an MetroNaps EnergyPod™
Truly Innovative Teaching Award
The Truly Innovative Teaching Award, formerly the Teaching Academy Innovation Award, was established as an endowed award in 2014 through a gift of Elise “Pookie” and Michael Sautter. Harry and Jenny Truly were Pookie’s parents, who supported, praised, and encouraged both Pookie and Michael’s work as educators.
Kefaya Diab is a PhD student of rhetoric and professional communication in the English Department. She wins this award for her work with students to make short movies to express their identities, to promote ideas and to call for social change. Kefaya has used these movies in composition classes, as well as in ESL and Arabic classes. One of her students refers to her class as "the most joyful and important class any one of us will take in our college years… truly electrifying…"
Outstanding Workshop Award
Laura Madson joined the faculty of the Psychology Department in August 1996. Shortly thereafter, she learned about team-based learning at the Teaching Academy. She's been a dyed-in-the-wool practitioner ever since. She new teaches 300-400 Introduction to Psychology students every academic year using team-based learning, has written a textbook specifically for use in her team-based learning Intro to Psych classes, and offers regular workshops on team-based learning for the Teaching Academy. When she's not working, she spends time with her husband Keith and sons Ian, age 9, and Erik, age 7, running, knitting, or relaxing with a nice pint of beer.
Most Distinguished Graduate Member
Kefaya Diab is a PhD student of rhetoric and professional communication in the English Department. Her research focus is on new media literacy, digital media production, critical theory, and social identity. She teaches courses in composition and rhetoric in the English Department, and also serves as a writing program coordinator. Her past experience in IT and digital media inspires her pedagogy of filmmaking as a tool for advocacy and social change. Students in her classes produce short films of personal narratives, documentaries, and public service announcements to advocate for social issues. She hopes to promote this project across the curriculum at NMSU and nationwide.
Outstanding Mentor Award
Martha C. Mitchell is the associate dean for research and professor of chemical engineering in the College of Engineering, where she has served since 2012. As associate dean for research, she oversees the NMSU College of Engineering Research Center, which assists faculty and research staff in pre- and post-award sponsored projects activities. Dr. Mitchell's own research has involved collaborating with researchers from NMSU, Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory and NASA–White Sands Test Facility. She was the principal investigator for an NSF ADVANCE PAID grant that disseminated best practices from the NSF ADVANCE grant at NMSU across the state. Dr. Mitchell is chair of the NMSU Advancing Leaders Committee. She has mentored five faculty each in both the ADVANCE Mentoring Program and the Advancing Leaders Program. Her mentees report that her talents as a mentor are simply astounding.