Left to Right: Provost Jeremy Haefner, COS Dean Sophia Maggelakis, Award Recipient Scott Bell, Award Recipient Liz Bremer, CASTLE Director Scott Franklin. Not pictured here: Award Recipient Dr. Michelle Chabot.
2017 Science and Math Education Research Special Honors Award (SMERSH)
The Science & Math Education Research Special Honor was created to recognize outstanding contributions by faculty, staff and students to RIT’s practice of innovative, research-based STEM pedagogies. Past recipients include
undergraduate Learning Assistants and faculty mentors, recognized for their exceptional work transforming STEM classrooms
faculty and staff who oversee programs with both local and national impact (e.g. Learning Assistant and IMPRESS)
faculty and students whose groundbreaking discipline-based education research has advanced their field and brought national recognition to CASTLE and RIT
Read on to learn more about our 2017 Science & Math Education Research Special Honor Award Winners!
Rochester Institute of Technology College of Science
2017 SMERSH Award Recipients
Michelle Chabot, Lecturer of Physics
Dr. Michelle Chabot from the School of Physics and Astronomy has been a Learning Assistant Mentor since the 2014-15 academic year. She has worked with LAs to transform University Physics I, first by “flipping” her classroom, creating videos for students to watch before coming to class. She then developed new class activities that incorporate questions of varying levels of sophistication, as measured by Bloom’s taxonomy. Dr. Chabot’s work resulted in significant improvements in student learning and success, dramatically reducing course failure rates. Her ideas were subsequently incorporated into a successful NSF proposal “Transforming STEM Classrooms through Faculty Triads.” As part of the Triad Program, Michelle will help other physics faculty adopt her materials and methods, spreading her success to other University Physics I sections. For her work in the Learning Assistant and Triad programs, we honor Michelle with a 2017 Science and Mathematics Education Research Special Honor.
Elizabeth "Liz" Bremer, Assistant Director for Assessment & Academic Partnerships
Elizabeth “Liz” Bremer became involved with CASTLE’s “IMPRESS” program in 2015 through her position in the Division of Diversity and Inclusion and the “I’m First” program for first-generation students. Liz worked tirelessly to create and implement co-curricular activities that supported the program’s mission of developing higher order metacognitive strategies. Liz’s contributions went well above and beyond expectations, and the organization and professionalism she brought to the program were instrumental in its success. In addition to the co-curricular activities, Liz has brought insight into student viewpoints to the recruitment and application process, enhancing the program’s ability to identify and attract promising first-generation and deaf/hard-of-hearing students. Liz’s work with IMPRESS has continued, and she has played a large part in our continued improvement. For her contributions and irreplaceable value to the IMPRESS program, we are pleased to award Liz Bremer a 2017 Science and Mathematics Education Research Special Honor.
Scott Bell, Student in Mechanical Engineering Technologies
Scott Bell joined the Learning Assistant program in 2015. A student in Mechanical Engineering Technologies, Scott was an instrumental in revamping Elements in Multivariable Calculus and Differential Equations, designing and developing new apparatuses for hands-on classroom learning. These transformations have cut the DFW rate by almost 40%, one of the most significant LA results at RIT. Scott has helped other LAs learn these activities, and is currently working with a former LA to develop replicates in a more professional form for use in the class. Students give Scott amazing evaluations and comment on how much they've benefited from his teaching and support. In nominating him, his mentor, Deana Olles, simply wrote “He is AMAZING.” For his outstanding contributions to the Learning Assistant program, we are pleased to award Scott Bell a 2017 Science and Mathematics Education Research Special Honor.