The College of Arts and Sciences is proud to recognize the selected faculty at this year’s Teacher/Researcher of the Year award celebration. Eight faculty members were honored in the categories of Researcher of the Year, Professor of the Year, Assistant of the Year, and Excellence in Teaching 21st Century Skills.
Dedicated to their research as well as to their students, the professors are examples of their profession, and the College warmly congratulates its recipients, detailed below.
Researcher of the year
Dr. Maxim Matusevich, Department of History
Professor Maxim Matusevich has published extensively on the history of the Cold War in Africa and the history of Afro-Russian encounters. His essay “A Black Journey of Red Hope” appears in the new volume Red and Black: The Russian Revolution and the Black Atlantic (Manchester UP, 2021). Maxim’s article “The Russian ‘Alternative’ in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Challenge to Western Liberalism”, is featured in the Foreign Policy Report commissioned by the European Union Russian foreign policy: the internal-international link (Milan, 2021) and its peer-reviewed chapter “Soviet Anti-racism and Its Discontents: The Cold War Years” is presented in one volume Alternative Globalizations: Eastern Europe and the Postcolonial World (IndianaUP, 2020). Additionally, he is the author of two peer-reviewed chapters on Paul Robeson’s connection to the Soviet Union and two articles on Russia’s post-Soviet “return” to Africa. Professor Matusevich is also active as a public intellectual, publishing editorials, giving radio and television interviews. Besides his scholarly work, Professor Matusevich also writes and publishes novels. In 2020-22, his short stories, essays and a short story appeared in several prestigious literary journals: San Antonio review, MumberMag, Anti-heroine-chic, BigCityBed, the wild word, Foreign literature, Relevant, East-West Literary Forum, Rivanna reviewand WordCity Literary Journal.
Dr. Jessica Cottrell, Department of Biological Sciences
Over the past year, Dr. Cottrell has achieved many successes, including 4 research publications featuring 7 Seton Hall student authors and over 15 abstracts presented at national, regional and local conferences. In particular, the manuscript entitled “A Functional Three-Dimensional Microphysiological Model of Myeloma Bone Disease”. was published in The Journal of Bone Mineral Research, a leading journal in the bone field (IF=6,741). Importantly, research on vancomycin and diabetic fracture healing won the J. Leonard Goldner Award in September 2021, given by the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society in recognition of outstanding basic science. Additionally, she submitted 2 external grants (NIH, NSF) which are still under review and received $22,000 in grants. Together, Dr. Cottrell’s efforts continue to nurture more than 20 graduate and undergraduate students to pursue their dreams of becoming scientists, physicians, and authors while engaging in cutting-edge research in osteoimmunology.
Dr. Susan Nolan, Department of Psychology
During the 2020/2021 academic year, Dr. Nolan published four peer-reviewed journal articles, one co-edited book, three book chapters, and the fifth edition of his Statistics for Behavioral Science textbook, and gave six conference presentations and a keynote address. address. Her work focused on diversity, internationalization and evaluation in her field. She also started a podcast, Beyond Teaching; a guest blog on misinformation with Psychology Today; and a monthly blog in her role as president of the 3,500-member Society for the Teaching of Psychology. Susan has served on the American Psychological Association Task Force on Major Skills in Psychology; served as associate editor of the journal Learning and Teaching Psychology; and received the Fukuhara Award for Advanced International Research and Service from the International Council of Psychologists.
Dr Susan Nolan also awarded Dr Nolan a Fulbright in Australia for her 2022-2023 sabbatical.
teacher of the year
Professor Elizabeth Redwine – Department of English
Professor Redwine’s students report feeling welcome and supported in her classes. Using meditations at the start of each class, checking attendance questions, journals, and assignments that connect texts to students’ lives, Professor Redwine has created a supportive community in his four classes each semester, even in this turbulent time. In its core classes, students participate in service learning and bring that experience to their writing assignments. She takes great pride in how her creative approaches to teaching have contributed to her students’ achievements in their writing, close reading, and conversation.
Professor Daniel B. Nichols – Department of Biological Sciences
Professor Nichols teaches a variety of subjects in the Department of Biological Sciences, including metabolic biochemistry, microbiology and molecular virology. He is dedicated to the success of his students and works hard to ensure that students understand content both inside and outside the classroom. In his research lab, he teaches undergraduate and graduate students the virology techniques they use to answer fundamental questions about virus-host interactions. He is also an active researcher and has given undergraduate students the opportunity to publish their research. Brian has also been committed to educating the public during the pandemic after being interviewed in over 20 newspapers and magazines, including NJ.com and popular science where he explains advances in understanding SARS-CoV-2.”
Professor Tara Wager – Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Whatever the class, Professor Wager’s goal is to meet students where they are and build on their mathematical framework. She always strives to provide precise explanations, transparent objectives and aesthetic course materials that promote student success, treatment, dialogue and questions; its purpose is to highlight skills that will be useful to them in their other courses. Students annotate notes, internalize concepts, and focus on understanding material. Professor Wager’s philosophy is centered on the belief that while better learning occurs in the classroom, it promotes self-learning outside of our meetings. She has an incredible variety of abilities in my class, but her ultimate goal is the same for everyone: to make students confident in math.
Deputy of the year
Professor Claudia Freire – Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Professor Freire believes in the potential of her students, and she believes in them. She always encourages her students to never give up and pursue their college education. She knows that if she was able to study with my limited English and no money to pay for her education when she arrived in the United States, she knows for sure that her students can also complete and graduate. She always tells my students that even if it’s one course at a time, don’t give up and earn their college degrees. Why? Because she knows her students can do it! She believes in each of them! She believes in the importance of higher education.”
Professor Freire’s students mentioned that they were very grateful to have had Professor Freire as a teacher this semester. She cared enough to push them out of their comfort zone and taught them how important it is to embrace their anxiety and use it as motivation to use their voice to share their thoughts. They thank Professor Freire for being so positive and supportive. Professor Freire is an amazing teacher and she made the material very easy to understand. The way she engaged with the class made the material so much more enjoyable and sharing stories from the weekend in Spanish was a great way to learn more about their classmates and in the process, gain a better understanding Spanish.”
Excellence in Teaching 21st Century Skills
Professor Dongdong Chen – Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Professor Chen has always strived to create a supportive learning environment and help students work towards 21st century skills.
Professor Chen taught innovatively in
- engaging my undergraduate students to create interactive podcasts in the target language they were learning.
- engage my graduate students in service learning at Seton Hall Prep. school so that they learn to teach while serving the community.
On June 5, 2021, Professor Chen was invited by the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University to give a workshop on cultivating student skills in the 21st century from the perspective of a language teacher.
For the full list of winners, please see the original new story here.