Sunday, April 09, 2006

Class of 1922 Helping Students Learn Award

Today I took
my place on stage at the Elliot Hall of Music among dignitaries and honored instructors at Purdue University's 2006 Honors Convocation. I was there to receive the Purdue Class of 1922 "Helping Students Learn" Award. This experience was certainly the most exciting I have known since beginning graduate studies at Purdue. I was nervous, proud, and appreciative. I was honored while yet disbelieving. It was a truly awesome day. During introductory comments Dr. Jiscske said, "Excellence is doing common things uncommonly well," and I believe my work in support of student writing fits rightly with his understanding. The work receiving recognition today is entitled "Writing the Works: Improving Writing with a 'Rule of Five.'"

I want to thank Dr. Richard Mark French from the Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology for the nomination, Drs. Richard Sheehan-Johnson and Jennifer Bay for their letters in support, and Dr. Arkady Plotnitsky for his contribution as my advisor. In addition, I remember Dr. Elizabeth Dunn, Dr. Nancy Michael, Dr. Martin Tadlock, and Dr. Russell Lee from Bemidji State University with appreciation for the inspiration they continue to be in my pursuit of excellence through teaching and scholarship.

Provost Sally Frost Mason

President Jischke presenting
Mary L. Godwin

Class of 1922 “Helping Students Learn” Award

Annual Award for Outstanding Innovation in “Helping Students Learn”

To improve the educational experiences of Purdue University students and to recognize those who develop innovative advancements in teaching, the alumni of the Class of 1922 have established a fund from which an annual award is to be given for outstanding innovation in helping students learn. If a single recipient is selected, the $6,000 prize will be divided between a $4,000 cash award and a $2,000 academic expense account. All Purdue University faculty, staff, and graduate students who have developed innovative techniques to help students learn are eligible for consideration.


For the purposes of this award, an innovation is defined as something which is new, involving creativity and change, and which has for its purpose helping students learn. It includes any procedure, concept, or format which differs significantly from established or traditional teaching methodology and which purports to help students learn more effectively.

Guidelines for interpreting these criteria include the following:

  1. The test of time may have to overlooked in judging the educational effectiveness of an innovation. Therefore, the basis for an innovation must be theoretically sound. Though the probability of long-range success may be implied, there must be at least preliminary evidence, however, that the innovation works and has a significant effect on learning.
  2. The innovative features of the teaching method or the materials must be operational during the period for which the award is being made even though the method may have been introduced earlier. Creativity in the development of instructional materials also will be considered for the award.
  3. Other things being equal, innovations with broad applicability to other learning situations will be given preference.
  4. The innovation may include economy of resources, but its primary purpose must contribute to the improvement of learning.

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Frank Paynter said...

Congratulations! I wonder if you could provide a link to the work that won you the award?


Winston said...

How wonderful for you! To be recognized by your peers and associates is the best! And if I read it right, there is a cash award that puts icing on the cake. Nice...

Brenda said...

Congratulations!!! I couldn't be more proud of you! What an extraordinary shift to your life, and how extraordinarily it is working out, and how you are being bestowed with honours! All because you give so fully with everything you have. You do this in your writing, and I am a recipient in your comments, but that's only the tip of the surface that I see, all your students get that highly focussed and supportive attention and as they thrive under your tutelage they want to shower you with the golden light you deserve! Thank you for sharing this beautiful moment with us. *hugs xo

Kat said...

Congratulations, Mary. How very wonderful to win an award for giving. That would be the sound of me clapping for all I'm worth.

metablogger said...

Congrats! Much more impressive than my department's distinguished scholarship award (which I receive on Friday), but I'm glad to see we're both getting kudos!