A&S Student Council Names Chalk Award Recipients
A pair of professors, an academic adviser, and a graduate teaching assistant have been given Chalk Awards for excellence by the College of Arts and Science Student Council. Associate Professor of Russian Tim Langen and Associate Professor Soren Larsen of the Department of Geography each received the 2016 Arts and Science Purple Chalk Award for their excellence as faculty instructors. Rebecca Fallon, an academic adviser in the Department of Political Science, received the Blue Chalk Award for excellence in academic advising, and graduate teaching assistant Chao Tang received the Green Chalk Award for mentoring students in German.
Professor Langen also serves as chair of the Department of German and Russian Studies and says the Chalk Award will motivate him to work even harder.
“We’re supposed to be the ones looking out for the students, helping them succeed, and steering recognition their way,” Langen says. “It’s touching and humbling to be on the receiving end of that kind of effort, and it makes me want to improve my game.”
Associate Professor Soren Larsen is the director of graduate studies for the geography department. Larsen says he is honored to receive the Purple Chalk Award because teaching is one of the most rewarding parts of his job.
“This award reminds me that the challenges I face in teaching are also what make it such a gratifying experience,” Larsen says. “Whether they know it or not, the students at the University of Missouri have expectations for excellence in education that push me to strive for excellence in teaching. To me, the Purple Chalk Award honors the vitality of this relationship, where the value of a lifelong education is at stake for all.”
Rebecca Fallon says she loves her job as an academic adviser in political science and is honored to receive the Blue Chalk Award from the A&S Student Council.
“I always encourage my students to ask the right questions and seek out their own solutions,” Fallon says. “Convincing them that it’s best not to take the easy way out can be a challenge, but knowing they’ll be better off in the long run makes me proud of the work I do every day. It’s really rewarding knowing that they think as highly of me as I do of them.”
Chao Tang is a graduate student in German language and literature and a teaching assistant in German. Tang says the Green Chalk Award means a lot to him, especially as a graduate student who “officially” stepped into a university class one semester ago. Tang says it’s been a challenge teaching a second language using his non-native language, English.
“I know that I face more challenges than my peers who are originally from the USA or Germany, but the more pressure that I have, the more motivation I gain,” Tang says. “I place great value on the relationship with students. Once the students like the instructor, they tend to put more effort on learning with her or him. By using my sense of humor, my classes are always lively and full of bonhomie. I would like to say that a good relationship with students enables me to teach effectively.”
The 2015 and 2016 Arts and Science Chalk Award winners will each receive a plaque recognizing their awards at the Arts and Science Banquet February 19 in the Reynolds Alumni Center.