Three Instructors Receive 2021 Cognella Innovation in Teaching Awards for Family Science

Three Instructors Receive 2021 Cognella Innovation in Teaching Awards for Family Science

Dr. Alan C. Taylor, Dr. Dee Hill-Zuganelli, and Dr. Kerry Weil Tripp are recognized by Cognella and NCFR for innovative teaching practices 

San Diego, CA – November 8, 2021 – Dr. Alan C. Taylor, Dr. Dee Hill-Zuganelli, and Dr. Kerry Weil Tripp were celebrated with Cognella Innovation in Teaching Awards for Family Science at the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Annual Conference. The award program is a partnership between Cognella and NCFR with the goal of recognizing outstanding Family Science instructors who develop and apply innovative teaching practices within their courses. 

“It was extremely difficult to choose the winners for this award program this year,” said Kassie Graves, Vice President, Editorial and a member of the judging panel. “Reading the submissions gave us so much insight into how instructors have leveraged technology, partnerships, and new ideas to support their curricula, students, and institutions in the wake of large-scale disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The award submissions were imbued with dedication and passion, and we’re so grateful to everyone who submitted their work or nominated a peer.”

The first-place honor went to Dr. Alan C. Taylor, a tenured professor within the Department of Human Development and Family Science at East Carolina University. The judging panel was impressed by how he developed an innovative and unique graduate-level instructor preparation program which provides students with a hands-on and deeply immersive opportunity to learn the principles of effective instruction. The panel believes the constructive, practical feedback received by participants in the program is building and molding the next generation of instructors.

The judging panel was so impressed by the entries submitted by Dr. Dee Hill-Zuganelli and Dr. Kerry Weil Tripp they chose to award both educators with second-place awards.

Dr. Hill-Zuganelli, an assistant professor of child and family studies at Berea College, leveraged remote teaching technology and online communication platforms to help students evaluate safety and sense of belonging among LGBTQPIA+ minoritized students. As part of a seminar course called “Sexuality in Everyday Life,” students were challenged with identifying and sharing “safe zones” on campaign and share their evaluations as part of a broad group discussion. With permission, Dr. Hill-Zuganelli shared key themes and testimonials from the seminar confidentially with members of the campus LGBTQPIA+ issues task force and prepared a report on the learning activity. The task force is now following this teaching template to host in-person and online student forums on appraising LGBTQPIA+ safety.

Recognizing that her students might graduate without an international experience, Dr. Kerry Weil Tripp, a principal lecturer in the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland, created the university’s Virtual Global Internship Program. The program allows students to engage with international researchers and businesses, as well as local partners working with international populations. Through this program, students have had the opportunity to conduct global research on topics ranging from environmental justice to COVID-19 contract tracing in Africa to the impact of the pandemic on Korean-American families. During the first year of the Virtual Global Internship Program, Dr. Weil Tripp supported the creation of over 50 virtual internships opportunities.

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

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