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Political science professor honored for classroom innovation

Faculty Jul 5, 2024
Two men pose with an award

KOKOMO, Ind. — An Indiana University Kokomo political science professor earned recognition from his peers for classroom innovation.

Andy Tuholski, assistant professor of political science, received a 2024 FACET Innovate Award from the Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching (FACET), in the collaborative activities category, for The Corruption of Kundu: An Ethics and Public Policy Simulation.

“In developing simulations, my goal is to create immersive experiences that challenge students to apply theoretical knowledge in dynamic, real-world scenarios,” he said. “I am trying to foster peer-to-peer engagement, critical thinking, research, and ethical reasoning. These are time-consuming to develop, but have resulted in some of my favorite memories in the classroom.”

The activity places each student on eight-member anti-corruption task forces in the fictional Republic of Equatorial Kundu, with each one competing to develop the best reform plan for the country while pushing for their own assigned individual priorities as representatives of the World Bank, the United Nations, and non-governmental organizations.

Tuholski’s goal is to immerse students in the intricate realms of political ethos, corruption, and systemic change.

“They delve into not just research, but the moral dimensions of corruption, examining issues such as fair play, equitable resource distribution, and the role of government, fostering critical thinking and ethical reasoning,” he said. “Within this framework, students learn to measure and analyze corruption using global indices and metrics, gaining insight into the effectiveness of these tools in assessing corruption’s societal impact and governance challenges.”

He integrates various tools and platforms into the exercise, including using Discord messaging for real-time updates and communications, which mirrors the fast-paced nature of information and diplomacy.

“The success of these activities, and recognition from FACET, is a testament to the students’ dedication and enthusiasm,” he said. “Their ability to navigate complex situations, collaborate effectively, and develop innovative solutions to a variety of domestic and international challenges has been truly inspiring. Their hard work and commitment to learning is what makes the experience impactful.”

Tuholski was one of five IU faculty members who received FACET Innovate Awards, which recognize faculty who bring passion, innovation, and creativity to the classroom to promote student success. Other award categories include community engagement, creative use of online tools, skills across the curriculum, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice-informed pedagogy.

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.

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