(From left): Dr. Mamta Saxena, Dr. Sothy Eng, and Dr. Kevin Roy

Dr. Kevin Roy, Dr. Sothy Eng, and Dr. Mamta Saxena receive 2022 Cognella Innovation in Teaching Awards for Family Science 

San Diego, CA – January 3, 2023 – Dr. Kevin Roy, Dr. Sothy Eng, and Dr. Mamta Saxena were honored with Cognella Innovation in Teaching Awards for Family Science at the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Annual Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 16 – 19. In partnership with the NCFR, the award program recognizes outstanding Family Science instructors who develop and apply innovative teaching practices within their courses.

“There were two intertwined themes that ran through every submission we received for the award program this year—student impact and student care,” said Kassie Graves, Cognella Vice President, Editorial, and a member of the judging panel. “Today’s instructors are recognizing the need to support their students academically and personally. Their innovations have created safe spaces for their students to connect Family Sciences theories and concepts to their own lives, develop empathy and understanding for others, and positively impact their communities.”

The judging panel awarded Dr. Kevin Roy, a professor in the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland College Park School of Public Health, with first place for advancing the study of masculinity and its impact on family health and well-being. Dr. Roy developed a course titled “Man Up? Health, Masculinities, Families, and Inequality” in which students examine adolescent, emerging adulthood, and aging for men over the life course; men’s mental health; consent and intimate relationships; violence and war; White supremacy and men’s entitlement; and child/father bonds, co-parenting, and kin networks. This innovative course successfully marries family science and public health, representing an exciting new direction for family science studies and courses.

The judging panel was so impressed by the entries submitted by Dr. Sothy Eng and Dr. Mamta Saxena they chose to award both educators with second-place awards.

Dr. Sothy Eng is an assistant professor of human development and family studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He has developed a method called DRCRA to challenge students to read with purpose, find relevance in the material for their own lives, and learn to apply what they’ve read. DRCRA not only helps students master their public speaking skills, but also encourages them to connect with each other via openness and vulnerability – a key to enhancing communications and healthy relationships. Additionally, Dr. Eng’s teaching is guided by his teaching theory, Critical, Empathetic, and Mindful Relations, a relationship-building framework that builds community within the classroom and helps students engage with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

The judging panel was impressed with how Dr. Mamta Saxena, an associate professor in the Department of Human Development at the State University of New York at Oswego, has enriched her research-based courses with a care-based pedagogy and an emphasis on interlinking teaching, advising, and scholarship. She combined frameworks, such as Bloom’s Taxonomy and an adapted version of the Partners in Parenting Education model, to introduce a four-stop instructional model integrating subject mastery, a gamified approach, authentic assessment, and content accessibility in synchronous and asynchronous courses. Dr. Saxena has also integrated a diversity, equity, and inclusion perspective in all of her courses and has leveraged with community partners to help foster students’ civic engagement, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills in practice.

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

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