The Teaching Academy serves NMSU educators through training, mentoring, and networking. It helps NMSU educators develop extraordinary teaching lives embedded in exceptional careers.
Most Distinguished Member
Mike McGonigle has been a part of the Las Cruces community since the fifth grade. He went to high school at Mayfield and secured his bachelor’s degree from NMSU. He originally started as a film student. Shortly into his studies, Mike realized film wasn’t as exciting and fun as he had hoped, so he switched to the thrilling world of finance. Mike minored in insurance and risk management. While working for the family business, his father proved to him that insurance and risk management are not as boring as they are made out to be. Now Mike lives and breathes the industry and loves every minute of it. He reports that he is very proud and honored to be part of the NMSU family.
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.
Krista MacDonald is an assistant professor of communication in the English and Communication Department at Doña Ana Community College, where she also serves as DACC’s online education coordinator. In 2005, she earned her M.A. in communication from the University of New Mexico and in 2013, she earned, from New Mexico State, her online teaching and learning graduate certificate. Krista has taught a variety of introduction to communication courses. In her online classes Krista prioritizes quality course design, the creation of online learning communities, and curricula that supports diverse student populations. Krista’s application for the Truly Award stressed the application of the Quality Matters Rubric guidelines to her online teaching.
Outstanding Workshop Award
Lizbeth Ellis received the Outstanding Workshop Award because her workshop, Daily Five-Minute Quizzes: A Key to Student Engagement and Accountability, received the highest evaluations from participants of any of the workshops given by NMSU faculty or staff at the Teaching Academy this year. Professor and Attorney Lizbeth Ellis joined the faculty at NMSU 25 years ago, after a number of years in private practice of law. In 2004 she became head of the Department of Finance, and she presently serves as interim associate dean in the College of Business. Ellis teaches several business law courses, but her bread and butter has been the Legal Environment of Business course required of all undergraduate business students. This course served as the proving ground for the teaching strategy that was the subject of her outstanding workshop.
Most Distinguished Graduate Member
Karen Trujillo will complete the Master of Arts program in English as an Honors Graduate this May. She teaches Rhetoric and Composition and Introduction to Education. Her commitment to teaching these courses has led her to the Teaching Academy to better serve her diverse students face-to-face and online. As a result of the growth she has realized at the Teaching Academy, Karen is certain that she has enhanced her students’ learning.