Five Marquette faculty members were honored with the university’s highest teaching honor, Teaching Excellence Awards, and one faculty member received the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award at Tuesday night’s 59th Annual Père Marquette Dinner. The event was emceed by Dr. Douglas Lobner, professor of biomedical sciences.
The 2017 Teaching Excellence Award winners are Dr. Monica Adya, chair and professor of management; Dr. Leah Flack, associate professor of English; Dr. Tim McMahon, associate professor of history; and Dr. Martin St. Maurice, associate professor of biological sciences.
Marquette’s Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award was established to recognize one faculty member and one staff member who demonstrate exemplary leadership and has shown an ability to put the ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion into practical action. The Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award faculty winner is Dr. Lucas Torres, associate professor of psychology.
Dr. Monica Adya
In thanking her mother who taught her “passion” and “fearlessness” and her father who offered “rock solid support,” Dr. Monica Adya reflected on the importance of education for all. “We had access to education,” she said. “It is more important than ever to keep our mission in perspective. This is our challenge as an institution and where we need to be innovative.”
In closing, she thanked her students for their “zest for life” and honored first generation students who “carry the hopes of their families in their eyes and the hopes for their future in the hearts.”
Dr. Leah Flack
Dr. Leah Flack took time to share how literature has provided “space in my life for wonder and possibility” and highlighted her students for “embarking on this journey” with her.
“My students are arriving in my classroom with same attitude I arrived with in my classroom,” she said. “They have a hunger for knowledge and skills, but also for wisdom. I thank my students for reminding me that these things matter and they are essential and non-negotiable tools to be the difference and make a difference.”
Dr. Timothy McMahon
“Working on the faculty here at Marquette is a genuine privilege,” he said, noting that his father became emotional when he called him on the phone and told him that he was interviewing at Marquette years ago. “I grew up in Milwaukee, my family has a long history not only to this city, but to this neighborhood and this institution.”
He expressed gratitude to many family members and closed by thanking his wife. “Her encouragement helped to make my career possible and continues to make everything else possible. Tonight, I want to pay special thanks to her.”
Dr. Martin St. Maurice
Dr. Martin St. Maurice comes from a long line of educators as his grandfather, mother, father, mother-in -law, father-in-law and brothers are all involved in teaching or administration. On stage, he took in the importance of the honor.
“I am awestruck by the quality of teachers that we have at this university,” he said. “It is an unbelievable honor to be considered to be on par with those individuals.”
In speaking to his fellow faculty members, he said, “If teaching matters to you and you are senior faculty member, I invite you to share that passion with junior colleagues. Really show them that teaching matters. It mattered for me.”
Dr. Lucas Torres
Dr. Lucas Torres borrowed an expression from a friend and colleague, noting “I am because we are.” He shared how his father was his first teacher and mentor, growing up in Puerto Rico. His father was his inspiration for his research of “society’s strange inclination to categorize people by the shades of their skin.”
He noted that his students inspire him daily. “My students have motivated me to do better and be better,” he said. “Their bravery astonishes me. They share with me their pain, disbelief, their tears and the fact that they still feel that they don’t belong. In spite of all of this, they still share their dreams and hopes for the future.”
“Tonight, we celebrate the life blood of the university, the faculty,” President Lovell said. “You inspire all of us and represent what is the best of our university.”
President Lovell noted how it was interesting to hear what inspires the faculty. “Every single one of you talked about family,” he said. “The thing that makes Marquette great — people care more about each other and this institution than any other place I’ve ever been. I want to thank all of you for being such great citizens of this campus and really caring for each other. At Marquette, we are a family.”
“I am so confident of where we are going because of the people in this room. If you ask every Marquette student what makes this place so special, they will tell you that it is the faculty.”