Areas of Focus
Georgia Tech’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has recognized two faculty members in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) for their outstanding pedagogy. Georgia Power Early Career Professor and Professor Nagi Gebraeel and Lecturer and Advisor Damon P. Williams received the Student Recognition of Excellence in Teaching: Class of 1934 Award at CTL’s Celebrating Teaching Day event on March 10, 2020.
Gebraeel was honored for his instruction in ISYE 6805, a graduate-level class on reliability engineering. He describes his pedagogical style as traditional.
“I like to enforce basic concepts through interactive examples,” he said. “Having a variety of industry experiences and anecdotes helps me in designing practical examples inspired by real-world problems, which enhances student engagement. Students immediately see the relevance and practical implications of topics that they just covered earlier in class or a previous lecture.
“I am truly honored to receive this award,” Gebraeel noted. “It comes directly from my students, and it communicates their honest opinions and experiences. I send my sincere gratitude and love to all my students. Thank you!”
Williams was honored for his instruction in ISYE 3104, which introduces undergraduates to supply chain principles for manufacturing and warehouses. He says his teaching style aims to actively facilitate learning, rather than simply delivering a lecture to his students.
“In a learning-centered classroom, the objective is for the students to do the work – not me. I ask them lots of questions to get them to think about the material,” he explained. “During a class session, it’s typical for students in pairs or trios to be up at the whiteboard solving problems, and then rotating out with a different group. I already know the material – the goal is to make sure my students do as well.
“I truly appreciate being given this award,” Williams added. “Georgia Tech has outstanding teacher-scholars in its ranks, and to be considered by the students as someone who puts considerable effort into teaching means a lot to me. When students respond to that effort, it feels good.”
The Student Recognition of Excellence in Teaching: Class of 1934 Award, previously known as the Class of 1940 Course Survey Teaching Effectiveness Award, was created several years ago when funds were identified to recognize teaching excellence at the Institute. Some of these funds are used each year to reward faculty members with exceptional response rates and scores on the Course-Instructor Opinion Survey. A maximum of 40 awards are given out each year.