Cognella Recognizes Three Higher Education Instructors with Cognella Innovation in Teaching Awards for Family Science

(From left) Award winners Dr. Melissa Landers-Potts, Dr. Raeann R. Hamon, Dr. Bill Anderson, and Cognella CEO Bassim Hamadeh pose together after the Cognella Innovation in Teaching Awards for Family Science award ceremony.

Dr. Melissa Landers-Potts, Dr. Bill Anderson, and Dr. Raeann R. Hamon receive inaugural awards

San Diego, CA – November 7, 2018 – Today Cognella CEO and founder Bassim Hamadeh presented Dr. Melissa Landers-Potts, Dr. Bill Anderson, and Dr. Raeann R. Hamon with Cognella Innovation in Teaching Awards for Family Science at the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Annual Conference. The awards were created in partnership with the NCFR to recognize outstanding teachers in the Family Science discipline, educators who go above and beyond to introduce cutting-edge teaching practices that engage their students and advance the discipline.

Dr. Landers-Potts received the first-place honor and a $1,000 cash prize. Dr. Anderson and Dr. Hamon tied for second place and received $500 credits toward Cognella books. Initially, Cognella intended to acknowledge only two instructors, a first-place winner and a second-place winner, but the quality of the submissions inspired the judging panel to expand the award to recognize three phenomenal instructors.

“We were completely blown away by the entries,” Hamadeh said. “The recipients of these awards are using their passion and expertise to truly make an impact on their students, their departments, and the discipline.”

Dr. Landers-Potts, a senior lecturer in human development and family science at the University of Georgia, impressed the judging panel with her commitment to collaboration, community, and technology. Through a partnership she established with Prevail Health, Dr. Landers-Potts’ students serve as online peer wellness coaches for clients aged 13-25 worldwide, providing them with meaningful serve-learning experience and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young people.

“I am truly grateful to receive the 2018 Cognella Innovation in Teaching Award for Family Science,” said Dr. Landers-Potts. “I feel fortunate to be able to work with creative, motivated young people at a time when there are so many exciting opportunities for us to learn from and connect with each other using technology.”

Dr. Anderson, an associate professor in the College of Applied Science and Technology at Illinois State University, has mastered the use of tools and technology in his classroom. He has incorporated active learning software into his courses, as well as a documentary series that he uses as an interrupted video case study, to provide students with ongoing, interactive experiences.

Dr. Hamon, a Distinguished Professor of Family Science and Gerontology and the chair of the Department of Human Development and Family Science at Messiah College, has contributed extensive scholarship to the discipline, especially in regard to the teaching of family science, having published five books since 2007 and authoring 36 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

To learn more about the winners’ unique contributions and innovations, read their award winner profiles on the Cognella website.

To continue their partnership with NCFR, Cognella is hosting a booth at the annual conference where attendees can peruse the publisher’s recent and upcoming publications in the family science discipline.

About Cognella®
Cognella® is redefining academic publishing by creating teacher-driven, student-centric higher education course materials in print and digital formats under three imprints: Cognella® Academic Publishing, Cognella® Custom, and Cognella® Active Learning. Cognella also publishes engaging nonfiction titles featuring modern perspectives as Cognella® Press. Learn more at

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