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Faculty commended for excellence in teaching

Faculty Oct 7, 2020
Photo illustration of a woman and a man
Photo illustration of a woman and a man

KOKOMO, Ind. —Two Indiana University Kokomo faculty members earned recognition for outstanding work in the classroom from the Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching (FACET).

Stephanie Medley-Rath, associate professor of sociology, and Adam Smith, associate professor of management, recently were among 14 IU faculty members selected for induction into the faculty program, which is committed to promoting outstanding teaching across all campuses.

“It’s definitely a big honor to be among this group of educators, to learn from that community and to be part of it,” said Smith.

Medley-Rath said the application process gave her an opportunity to reflect back on her teaching career — both the high points and the challenges, and how she worked to grow.

“It speaks to this community and what they’re looking for as members,” she said. “My colleagues in this group are committed to student success and continuous improvement.”

With a mother and grandmother who were elementary teachers, Medley-Rath did not originally plan to become a teacher, but her passion for sociology led her to that career.

“I wanted people to learn about sociology, and teaching is one way I am able to do that,” she said. “To be a teacher at the university level means that I get to share sociology, and help students develop their sociological thinking and research skills.”

Eric Bain-Selbo, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, congratulated Medley-Rath on the honor, adding that she’s been distinguished on campus for innovative and effective teaching.

“Not only have our students benefitted greatly from her efforts, but she has become a leader in her discipline as well, establishing a national reputation in sociology circles for her pedagogical and curriculum development,” he said.

Smith’s career choice was inspired by his grandfathers, and the value his grandparents placed on education.

“I get to be a small part of student success, and it is very fulfilling to see my students grow in their careers,” he said. “Being a teacher at a small university is the perfect fit for me.”

Dean Alan Krabbenhoft, School of Business, called Smith “a gifted educator.”

“He has a tremendous ability to relate to students, and focus on how they best learn,” Krabbenhoft said. “He has then shared this information with others, so they too can become even better educators. We are very lucky to have him on our faculty.”

Smith, who recently served as a Bicentennial professor during IU’s 200th anniversary commemorations, earned a Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Tennessee and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He joined IU Kokomo’s faculty in 2013.

He has previously been honored as an Enactus Sam Walton Fellow, and received the IU Kokomo Claude Rich Excellence in Teaching Award and the IU Trustees Teaching Award.

Medley-Rath has been at IU Kokomo since 2014, and has previously received the Claude Rich Excellence in Teaching Award and the Trustees Teaching Award. She earned a Ph.D. and a Master of Arts in Sociology from Georgia State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Southern Illinois University.

FACET was established in 1989 as the service oriented teaching academy of IU. Members are chosen annually through a peer review process. Each year, members are involved in collaborative activities at the campus, university, and national level, promoting inquiry and engagement in teaching and learning.

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.

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