Office of Academic Innovation

Innovation in Teaching Award

The Innovation in Teaching Award honors faculty who have implemented outstanding innovative teaching approaches shown to increase student learning and success. The award is also designed to encourage the dissemination of these approaches to colleagues across disciplines.

Innovative teaching is defined broadly and may include the use of new instructional technologies, the use of traditional technologies in creative ways, novel approaches to instruction, and new ways to engage students in the learning process.

The Innovation in Teaching Award is awarded to one representative from each college and the library.

Call for Proposals - CLOSED

Award Prize

Each awardee will receive a $500 award, a commemorative plaque, and will be featured on the OAI website.

Awardees will be featured presenters at the January Conference on January 14, 2015.

In addition, winners have the opportunity to participate in an interview describing their innovation and resulting improvements (as seen below for the 2014 awardees).

Award Rules

Proposals can be submitted by any full-time faculty member. 

The innovative practices must be completed no more than 3 years ago.

Previous winners must wait three years before submitting a new proposal for the Award.

Proposal Submission (Two Parts)

Part 1 – Submit Proposal Form

In the online online proposal form, you will be asked to describe your approach, technique, or project .  Then, you will be asked to describe how your approach meets each of the following award criteria:

  1. The approach is innovative (per the above description) (600 words maximum).
  2. It demonstrates positive impact(s) on teaching effectiveness, student learning, supporting diverse student learners, student readiness, and/or retention rates. (600 words maximum).
  3. It has potential for widespread adaptability to different courses or across disciplines. (600 words maximum).
  4. It addresses current teaching and learning trends, research, practices, issues, and/or University goals (600 words maximum).

You will also be asked to add faculty information and a brief bio (200 words maximum).

Part 2 – Submit Supplementary Materials

Submit any supplemental materials (e.g. research results) to Submit no more than three pages of supplemental materials which include no more than two links to related media (e.g. a website or video).

Selection Process

Awards will be selected through the following process:

  1. Faculty will submit proposals.
  2. The college and lirbary award committees will review the proposals and select the awardees.

In order to avoid conflicts of interest, if a committee member is nominated and subsequently applies, he or she will be recused from the review panel.

2015 OAI Innovation in Teaching Awardees


Picture of Dr. Philippe Duverger

Dr. Philippe Duverger
College of Business & Economics

Dr. Duverger received his Ph.D. in business administration - marketing from George Washington University. He is an Assistant Professor of Marketing in the College of Business and Economics at Towson University where he currently teaches courses on principles of marketing, consumer behavior, marketing strategy and marketing research. His research focuses on service innovation and quantitative methods. Dr. Duverger has published in the Advances in Consumer Research, Creativity and Innovation Management, Metropolitan Universities, Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education, The International Journal of Market Research, the Journal of Travel Research and the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research. Dr. Duverger is recognized as one of the “top 50 marketing profs on twitter” and can be followed @novophil. Prior to his academic career, he spent 20 years in the service industry in different executive capacities.


picture of Dr. Nicole Fabricant

Dr. Nicole Fabricant
College of Liberal Arts

Nicole Fabricant received a BA from Mount Holyoke College in 1999 and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 2009 in sociocultural anthropology. She completed a Presidential Postdoc at the University of South Florida where she researched and specialized in the global water crisis. She joined Towson University in 2010. Her research focuses on the cultural politics of resource wars in Latin America. She has worked since 2007 with the Landless Peasant Movement in Bolivia, an indigenous social movement fighting for land rights and food sovereignty in the East. Fabricant's research interests (land politics, water scarcity) map onto her teaching as she has taught Resource Wars of the 21st Century, Revolution in Latin America and Rethinking Indigeneity.


picture of Ms. Claire Holmes

Ms. Claire Holmes
Cook Library

Claire Holmes is a research and instruction librarian at Towson University's Albert S. Cook Library. She is a liaison librarian to the College of Education and helps manage the library's children's and young adult collection. Her information literacy instruction efforts focus on supporting student learning in Towson Seminar courses and working with undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of early childhood education, elementary education and special education. Her interests include assessment, rubrics, Universal Design for Learning and professional learning communities.

picture of Dr. Siddharth Kaza




picture of Dr. Blair Taylor

Dr. Siddharth Kaza
Fisher College of Science and Mathematics

Dr. Siddharth Kaza is an Associate Professor in the Computer and Information Sciences department at Towson University. He received his Ph.D. degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Arizona. His interests lie in information assurance education, data mining, and application development. Dr. Kaza’s work has been published in top-tier journals like Decision Support Systems, IEEE Transactions, ACM Transactions, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology and various international conferences and has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

Dr. Blair Taylor
Fisher College of Science and Mathematics

Dr. Blair Taylor is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Computer and Information Sciences department at Towson She has published and organized numerous workshops on introducing secure coding in the introductory courses. Additionally, she runs the NSA-DOD funded SPLASH@Towson program ( which offers Secure Programming Logic to high school girls. She has been funded by the National Science Foundation and Department of Defense and was awarded the University System of Maryland Regents Teaching award.


picture of Mr. Daniel Mydlack

Mr. Daniel Mydlack
College of Fine Arts & Communication

Danny Mydlack arrived at Towson University after more than fifteen years as an independent media producer in New York and Hollywood including Nickelodeon TV, Goldman Sachs and Scholastic Publishing. Danny has written and performed/produced Off Broadway winning a number of grants and awards, touring this country and Europe, opening at Radio City Music Hall and was featured on an MTV pilot. Web searches still bring up long-lost references to his accordion-playing, multimedia antics. Danny received his MFA from the University of California San Diego while serving in U.S./ Mexican border relief efforts. His project and film 'A Town Sign for Maclovio Rojas' was cited in the Wall Street Journal that made the town and its story an international news item. At Towson, Danny produced the feature length documentary 'Voices from the New American Schoolhouse' receiving international recognition, has won festival awards in the U.S. and Canada and has been screened widely on four continents. In 2008 He founded Arts & Ideas Sudbury School, Baltimore's first democratic school for kids 5-18 years old.

picture of Dr. Laila J. Richman

Dr. Laila J. Richman
Department of Special Education

Dr. Laila Richman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education and Program Coordinator for the blended Early Childhood Special Education program. She received her Ph.D. in Special Education at the University of Kansas and, prior to completing her doctoral program, taught eighth grade special education. Her research interests include Universal Design for Learning, instructional and assistive technology, teacher preparation, and culturally responsive practices. She is currently the principal investigator for two Improving Teacher Quality grants designed to provide professional development for in-service teachers focused on providing access to the curriculum for all learners through Universal Design for Learning.

picture of Ms. Marlene A. Riley


picture of Ms. Jacqueline Wilson



picture of Dr. Lisa Crabtree

Ms. Marlene A. Riley
College of Health Professions

Marlene Riley has practiced as an occupational therapist for 34 years and has been coordinating Level I fieldwork for 20 years at Towson University. She has been focusing her practice and teaching on community-based occupational therapy for the past 15 years.


Ms. Jacqueline Wilson
College of Health Professions

Jacqueline Wilson is in her third year as an Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the Occupational Therapy Center for the Institute for Well-Being at Towson University. She has worked in various settings for the past 32 years including co¬-partnering Chesapeake Assessment and Treatment Center, a comprehensive out-patient rehabilitation center that also provided driver re-education and work hardening training, creating NorthWest O. T. Associates, a pediatric home based practice that served children and youth, and, currently, developing and researching equine assisted occupational therapy through reConnect, a non-profit organization.

Dr. Lisa Crabtree
College of Health Professions

Lisa Crabtree is an assistant professor at Towson University, teaching courses related to occupational therapy with children and youth, autism, assessment, and research. She was the first director of the Hussman Center for Adults with Autism, providing innovative learning experiences for Towson University students and community-based participation opportunities for young adults on the autism spectrum.



2014 OAI Innovation in Teaching Awardees


Dr. Elizabeth Berquist

College of Education

Dr. Liz Berquist is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education where she works with pre-service educators and teaches a variety of courses including Working with Families of Children with Disabilities, Assistive Technology, and Universal Design for Learning and Differentiated Instruction. Dr. Berquist also supervises interns placed in Baltimore County and Baltimore City Public Schools. Her research interests include Universal Design for Learning, conceptual change, faculty professional development, transforming schools through inclusive practices and enhancing university-school partnerships. She is also a member of the CAST UDL faculty cadre.

Mr. Ryan Murray

View Interview

Mr. Ryan Murray

College of Fine Arts & Communication

Ryan Murray is an Assistant Professor in the Electronic Media and Film Department at Towson University. He is a multidisciplinary artist who creates paintings, videos, music, and sculptures. His work explores the connections and disconnections between rationality and psychedelic mysticism in pop culture. He has exhibited artwork across the United States in gallery exhibitions, video screenings, and books. Murray received his BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Creativity in the Fine Arts Course PDF

Dr. Kathy Gould

View Interview

Dr. Kathy Gould

College of Health Professions

Kathleen A. Gould, Ed. D., M.A., R.D., L.D.N. has been a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Science at Towson University since 2005. She is a Registered Dietitian and has taught nutrition courses in the Department of Health Science and Kinesiology. In May 2013 she completed her doctorate in Instructional Technology at Towson University in the College of Education. Her doctoral research was focused on student self-directed learning readiness and success in online problem based learning.

Dr. Dana Kollmann

View Interview

Dr. Dana Kollmann

College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Dana Kollmann is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice. She earned a MFS (Master of Forensic Science) degree from George Washington University and a MA and PhD from American University. Dr. Kollmann has over 12 years of experience as a crime scene investigator and has worked forensic cases and performed bioarchaeological analyses of human remains regionally and abroad. Her research interests broadly include mortuary archaeology, paleonutrition, and the bioarchaeology of Late Woodland populations in the Middle and Upper Potomac Valleys of Maryland.

Ms. Sara Arnold-Garza

View Interview

Ms. Sara Arnold-Garza

Cook Library

Sara Arnold-Garza is a Research & Instruction Librarian at Towson University’s Albert S. Cook Library. She is liaison to the Department of Political Science and provides research assistance and information literacy instruction to the university community. Sara’s focus is to bring innovation to library services and to promote diversity in the profession of librarianship. Her interests include library instruction and information literacy, the future of the academic library, and learning new things.

Dr. Mathew Hemm

Dr. Larry Wimmers

View Interview


Dr. Mathew Hemm

Fisher College of Science and Mathematics

Dr. Matthew Hemm is an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, and is a Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair of Biological Sciences. Dr. Hemm has taught the Molecular Biology Lecture and Laboratory classes, as well as the Molecular Biology graduate class. His area of study is the identification and characterization of small proteins in bacteria, and is particularly interested in the integration of small protein research into the laboratory classroom.

Dr. Larry Wimmers

Fisher College of Science and Mathematics

Dr. Larry Wimmers is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, and the Director of the Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Bioinformatics program. Dr. Wimmers is an advocate for undergraduate research. He previously chaired the University Undergraduate Research Committee, has received several NSF grants to support undergraduate research and serves on the Executive Board of the national Council on Undergraduate Research. His academic research interests include plant cell membrane function and plant adaptation to environmental stress.


Office of Academic Innovation
Cook Library Room 405
Phone: 410-704-2005




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