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.


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

Key Dates

Sept. 8, 2014- Call for Proposals

Oct. 20, 2014 - Proposals are Due - EXTENDED DEADLINE

Nov. 25, 2014- Award Recipients are Notified

Jan. 14, 2015- Recipients Present at January Conference





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