GV honors outstanding professors


GVL / Bethann Long

Melia Williams, Staff Writer

This year the Faculty Awards Convocation was held in the Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium on the Grand Valley State University Pew campus. At the event, they recognized a wide range of awards from service awards for professors that have been at GVSU for many years, to mentoring awards and even university awards.

Professor Matthew Hart received one of the top teaching awards, the Outstanding Teaching Award. With this being his 18th year teaching organic chemistry at GVSU, he believes this award is a reflection of all that he has poured into his students.

“I think what helps me stand out is that I really try to get a rapport with my students and I think having that connection helps them buy-in for what I’m trying to do in the class,” Hart said.

He explained how the innovative new things he’s implemented in his classroom such as lightboard videos or “flipping the classroom” has made teaching different for both him and the students. Hart’s use of lightboard videos posted on Youtube has received anywhere from 400 to 44,000 views, ultimately helping students all over the country.

“I put a lot of work into teaching and my students motivate me to be a better teacher,” Hart said. “To get that kind of recognition from my peers means an awful lot to me.”

Kay Losey, a professor in the writing department at GVSU, received the university-distinguished contribution to a discipline award, which she views as incredibly humbling.

“I know there are many other equally worthy candidates across the faculty here at GVSU,” Losey said. “I would encourage departments, all departments to nominate faculty for this award and other awards like this award.”

Losey’s vision for what a professor is supposed to look like aligns well with the award she received as she was noted at the convocation for her “drive to change the educational landscape for multilingual writers” and “commitment to rigor, quality and equity in classrooms.”

“My understanding of the role of a scholar is to further the creation of knowledge, and therefore my focus has not been on how much but really on trying to respond to questions that haven’t been addressed in my field and to help others in my field do the same thing through service to the profession,” Losey said.

Tara Cornelius a psychology professor at GVSU puts great emphasis on serving the community at GVSU as she received the University Service Award.

“GVSU is kind of like my family and so one of the ways that I get to serve the family is through doing service to the university and helping with our greater mission,” Cornelius said.

Cornelius was honored for service in multiple areas including one of which being GVSU’s Title IX office in times of crisis.

“My whole focus always is on students in particular, but really just our entire community and making sure that the things that we do are really putting those values and inclusion and equity kind of at the forefront,” Cornelius said.

Psychology professor Tessa Jordan takes great pride in her Outstanding Academic Advising and Student Services award.

“My passion has always been for helping students transition to college, find their path while they’re in college and support them to achieve their academic goals,” Jordan said. “This award signifies to me that I’ve reached my goal of being that professor who students come to for advice and support, so that makes me happy.”