A&S Student Council Announces Chalk Awards

Jordan Yount
News Source: 
College of Arts & Science
Geological Sciences
Psychological Sciences

The College of Arts and Science Student Council has presented its 2018 Chalk Awards to two professors and a graduate teaching assistant in recognition of their excellence as instructors and advisers. The student council solicits nominations from students for their favorite instructors and advisers, and the council’s executive committee makes the final selections.

Purple Chalk Award

Isabella Zaniletti

This award recognizes excellence in a faculty member. This spring the student council selected Assistant Teaching Professor Isabella Zaniletti of the Department of Statistics to receive the honor. Zaniletti’s research focuses on mixed linear models, nonparametrics, and statistical consulting for medical research/neonatology.

“I am extremely honored to receive the 2018 Purple Chalk Award for excellence in teaching,” Zaniletti says. “I would like thank the Student Council, as well as the students who nominated me, for this sign of appreciation. I am elated to see that my passion and enthusiasm for statistics manifests in the everyday interaction with students. I believe in creating a positive learning environment based on simplicity, individuality, and sympathy. For me, this achievement is not a point of arrival, but rather a validation of my teaching approach at Mizzou. I will continue to embrace students’ feedbacks and always strive to better myself.”

Green Chalk Award

Michael Corcoran

The Green Chalk Award is given in recognition of a graduate instructor’s excellence, and this spring A&S students chose graduate teaching assistant Michael Corcoran in the Department of Psychological Sciences to receive the honor. Corcoran is working toward a doctorate in social psychology under the advisement of Curators’ Distinguished Professor Ken Sheldon.

“Receiving the Green Chalk Award makes me feel beyond grateful,” Corcoran says. “One of my main goals as an educator is facilitating the success of students inside and outside of the classroom, and receiving this award is some indication these goals are being met. I also think of learning as a symbiotic relationship between educator and student in which both have the potential to influence and educate each other. Mizzou has amazing students who have had a profound effect on me; to be recognized as making contributions that are impactful to these students is moving. I owe it to the students to be the best educator I can be because they contribute so much to my life and the university as a whole.”

Blue Chalk Award

Peter Nabelek

Professor Peter Nabelek in the Department of Geological Sciences is the recipient of this semester’s Blue Chalk Award, which honors excellence in academic advising. Nabelek, who began his career at MU as an assistant professor in 1983, studies igneous and metamorphic processes in the lithosphere using geochemistry and computer simulations.

“One of the most enjoyable and rewarding parts of my job as a professor is advising of students on both graduate and undergraduate levels,” Nabelek says. “As a teacher of geology, I strive to give my students an appreciation of what our planet is made of and how it works. Ultimately, largely through their own efforts, the students become better citizens of the world. All my students begin their research projects in the field, usually camping on rocks that they will work on, often in some far-away place where they have never been before. And that is the easy part, because then comes preparation of rocks for chemical analysis by instruments that the students did not know existed. Sometimes results they are getting seem to go awry, but invariably a bit of advice on how to change a procedure brings success and joy to the student. After getting data comes the hardest part for the students, figuring out what the data tells us about a geologic process that we want to understand. All students are different, all have different talents. One has to be patient while students work their way toward excellence. I get rewarded when a student gives a successful presentation at a conference or writes a paper for a classy journal, because that is when I know that he or she is now much better prepared to succeed in the world and knows much more about it than before.”

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