Three doctoral candidates receive Excellence-in-Teaching Citations

February 19, 2016

Three doctoral students from the College of Education received Excellence-in-Teaching Citations from Michigan State University on Feb. 9, 2016.

Two students from kinesiology and one from teacher education received the honors during the annual All-University Awards, in which faculty and teaching assistants are recognized for their education and research contributions to the university. The 2016 Excellence-in-Teaching Citations were presented to six individuals who distinguished themselves by the care they have given and the skill they have shown in meeting their classroom responsibilities.


Alison Ede

“[Her] passion for her work was infectious,” a student noted in an evaluation for Ede, a doctoral candidate from the Department of Kinesiology.

Ede has taught many different types of classes, including lecture-based, writing-intensive and activity courses, during each of which she brings her teaching philosophy into play: Students bringing their own experiences to class and Ede building on and using what they know in her teaching.

Ede is researching proxy efficacy with University Distinguished Professor Deb Feltz. Particularly, she is studying individual’s confidence in a personal trainer to help them achieve their goals, and influencing motivation among groups of adults to encourage them to exercise.

In Feltz’s Exergames Research Laboratory, Ede has helped mentor more than 40 undergraduate research assistants—an important part of the Michigan State University experience, she noted.

“MSU is great for undergraduate research,” she said. “I’ve really enjoyed research mentoring, and undergraduates should definitely take advantage of the opportunity.”

Ede expects to graduate in summer 2016 with a Ph.D. in Kinesiology, concentrated on Psychosocial Aspects of Sport and Physical Activity.


Eric M. Martin

Martin chose MSU for graduate school because he would be able to work with renowned faculty in the Department of Kinesiology, and take courses offered to become a better instructor. As a graduate student, he has been able to take advantage of both of these opportunities to the fullest extent.

As a researcher, he works with his advisor, Professor Dan Gould, on youth’s passion in sport. He specifically looks at the “consequences of having passion for sport and how to develop it in the sport environment.” Additionally, he has worked with Karin Pfeiffer, assistant professor of kinesiology, on a project aimed at increasing physical activity and developing life skills in youth through a nature-based program.

As an instructor, he has taught many classes, such as KIN 250 (Measurement and Evaluation in Kinesiology) and KIN 371 (Research Methods in Kinesiology). Martin’s students inspire him, and his future career plans.

“My students are amazing,” he said. “I am lucky to have the opportunity to work with them on a daily basis. Finding students who are engaged and enthusiastic about learning makes my job so much fun, and is the reason I want to continue [my career] at a university that will allow me to continue my passion of teaching.”

Some of his proudest moments at MSU also come from teaching and working with undergraduates who are involved with his research team. One of his students presented a research project at the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF), and another student used a writing sample from an individual project to attain a graduate assistantship from a prestigious master’s program.

Martin expects to graduate in May 2016 with a Ph.D. in Kinesiology, concentrated on Psychosocial Aspects of Sport and Physical Activity.


Hannah K. Miler

Miller aims to change the world in more ways than one: through researching environmental literacy in schools and how undergraduates envision social change, and through being a prepared educator.

Her impact has already started making waves globally.

Prior to coming to Michigan State University to earn her doctorate in the Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education (CITE) program, Miller was a science teacher for eight years in Shanghai, China. Her time there—teaching in both Mandarin and English—spurred her interest to answer questions about the world around her.

At MSU, Miller has taught science methods courses, and even designed a course of her own with three other doctoral students: TE 991: Genders and Sexualities in Schools and Society.

Outside the classroom, she continues to ask, and answer, additional research questions under her advisor Professor Charles “Andy” Anderson.

She combines her past and her research into a unique and creative teaching style. While teaching TE 991, she taught her students techniques for teaching science to English language learners by conducting a science lesson in Mandarin. The first time she taught the lesson, she let her students experience firsthand what it is like to be taught in a classroom in a language other than their own. She retaught the lesson, demonstrating more effective teaching strategies. By the end of it all, her students were learning a little bit of Mandarin, a little bit of science and how to make science accessible.

Miller expects to graduate in May 2016.

Photos courtesy of Derrick Turner, MSU Communications and Brand Strategy.