Bloustein School associate research professor Marc D. Weiner was selected as the recipient of 2016 Teaching Excellence Award by Rutgers Graduate School-New Brunswick (GSNB). He was honored at an awards ceremony on April 21.
The Graduate School-New Brunswick conducts an annual competition for the Excellence in Teaching, Graduate Research, Administrative Service, and Dissertation Teaching awards. Two awards are presented each year for graduate teaching by faculty members and two awards each year for undergraduate teaching by graduate students. Candidates are nominated by the director of each program, and the nominees are then judged on all aspects of teaching and mentoring. Among the elements to be considered are: intensity of the challenge effectively posed to students; richness and conceptual complexity of the material effectively conveyed; integration of research and teaching; generosity of effort; performance of the role of exemplar for future teachers; inspiration of future work and career choices; quality and extent of preparation and responsibility in all aspects of the teacher-student relationship; extension of effects beyond the formal classroom (e.g., extra teaching efforts, advising); quality and quantity of significant student products (e.g., research papers, publications) stemming from classroom and mentored research; individuation of teaching; development of teaching materials (e.g., textbooks); curricular innovation.
Weiner’s work with graduate students—and particularly with first and second year doctoral students—is notable, as per an Advanced Qualitative Methods student. In his nomination, the student commended Dr. Weiner for his strong encouragement that “we use the course to develop our own research; and the structure of his course was designed to do just that.” In supporting his application, another student focused on the quality of instructor-student-classroom interactions: “The sincerity he brings to his interactions with students is striking. By the third week he knew everyone’s name and somehow managed to pick out something about each of us that he built on to develop a comfortable and easy-going rapport…”
A third wrote, “To me, he represents the best of everything social sciences stands for. I believe students pick up more than what is on his class syllabus. Not many professors can be both firm and respectful in how they treat students, but he manages it.” In summing up, a fourth student wrote, “Professor Weiner cares for good research and is genuinely concerned with equipping students with best skills and knowledge without being overloading on the information or course load. It also helps that he speaks about the pitfalls of conducting research, negotiating IRB, and do’s and don’ts occasionally. It makes the students confident and basically makes it all real and doable.”
Dr. Weiner was also the recipient of the Bloustein School’s Jerome G. Rose Distinguished Teaching Award in 2014.