Shana Petermann, a microbiology instructor at Minnesota State Community and Technical College, has been awarded one of the state’s highest teaching honors by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.
Petermann, who teaches in the Biological Sciences program on M State’s Moorhead campus, has been named an Educator of the Year for Excellence in Teaching within MnSCU’s 31 two- and four-year institutions.
Petermann joined M State in 2002 after previously serving as a teaching assistant and microbiologist at North Dakota State University. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in microbiology and will complete her Ph.D. at NDSU in fall 2015 in molecular pathogenesis, which is the study of microbes and the mechanisms that allow them to interact with their hosts and initiate the disease process.
“Teachers have the ability to influence the tone of the classroom. Regardless of life’s challenges, chores and responsibilities, for the time that the students and I are together, they get all of me. They know there is no place I’d rather be, or nothing I’d rather do, than serve as their tour guide into the amazing world of microbiology,” Petermann said. “It’s my mission to ensure that they gain the content, hone their critical thinking skills and have fun doing it. I hope each student leaves our class feeling valued, confident in their abilities and looking forward to the rest of their story.”
M State Chief Academic Officer Carrie Brimhall, said that “students know (Petermann) cares about them and their success.”
“Whether she is visiting with them in the student lounge, waiting to answer questions after class or reviewing material with them in the hallway, she always makes time for her students – even if it is 4 a.m.,” Brimhall said.
M State’s James Bainer, an instructor in the Diesel Equipment Technology program on the Moorhead campus, also was recognized by MnSCU as an Outstanding Educator for 2014-15 and was a candidate for Educator of the Year.
M State English instructor Paul Carney was a 2012 MnSCU Educator of the Year, and previous Outstanding Educators include M State’s Roberta Freeman, Loren Haagenson, Nandini Banerji, Teresa Beacom, Nancy Stigen, Bill Evans and Dixie Fjeld.
“Our faculty members do an outstanding job of providing our students with a quality education,” said M State President Peggy Kennedy. “This recognition for Shana and for all the faculty nominated by the MnSCU Board of Trustees is an incredible honor. Shana makes an incredible difference in the success of our students.”
The MnSCU Board of Trustees Excellence in Teaching awards program recognizes professional accomplishments and encourages ongoing pursuit of excellence. Faculty who are recognized are nominated by students, faculty peer or staff, with their selection based on content expertise and professional growth; teaching strategies and materials; assessment of student learning and performance; and service to students, the profession, the institution, and the system.