Known for throwing out the boring grammar books and teaching with innovative, hands-on methods instead, English faculty member Jennifer Arin was presented this year with SF State’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
The award is chosen by the Academic Senate’s Faculty Honors and Awards Committee and is based on five criteria: consistently excellent teaching effectiveness; creation of an academic environment that fosters student learning, achievement and enthusiasm; positive impact on students; implementation of innovative approaches to teaching; and contribution to improved instruction and curriculum.
Arin, who teaches writing classes, including this semester’s second-year composition, says “the goal is to find a way to make literature or writing meaningful for [students] beyond the classroom.” Keenly aware that not all her students consider themselves writers, Arin uses a variety of methods to be sure that all of her students are engaged and learning, even those for whom the written word may not be their strong suit.
In addition to her teaching duties, Arin is also a poet of some note. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Mills College and has published a poetry collection, Ways We Hold, and a chapbook, The Roots of Desire. She is working on a book about her sojourns in Europe.
Others who received Distinguished Faculty Awards include Associate Professor of Chemistry Teaster Baird, Latina/Latino Studies Lecturer Felix Kury and Associate Professor of Psychology Ryan Howell. Honorees received a $4,000 stipend for Excellence in Teaching awards and a $3,000 stipend for Excellence in Service and Excellence in Professional Achievement awards.