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Sarah Bush Receives International Teaching Award

April 7, 2015

Sarah Bush

Sarah Bush, Associate Teaching Professor of Biological Sciences

Sarah Bush, teaching associate professor of biological sciences, has become the fourth MU faculty member to win the Ernest L. Boyer International Award for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Technology.

The prestigious award identifies a single, outstanding faculty member who is expanding the boundaries of teaching, learning, and technology in higher education. The award was presented to Bush at the 26th Annual International Conference on College Teaching and Learning.

Bush was nominated by the University of Missouri and was selected by an international committee from the Teaching and Learning Organization. The award includes a $5,000 cash prize contribution from Pearson Higher Education.

“It’s a great honor to be selected, both as the MU nominee as well as for the Boyer Award itself,” said Bush. “The other nominees at the conference are all excellent educators in their respective fields, so I was very surprised when my name was called as the winner.”

Bush teaches a general biology course for non-science majors (Bio_Sc 1010), an upper-level evolution and ecology course (Bio_Sc 3400), and a senior-level animal communication (Bio_Sc 4642) course. Though she uses technology to varying degrees in all her courses, Bush says she has seen the biggest impact of technology on learning in her general biology course.

“Students get so much more out of it – and find the experience more enjoyable – than they did before educational technology came along,” said Bush, who has been teaching the course for 18 years. “Now, they’re getting continuous practice with critical thinking, they’re learning more about the nature of science, and they’re gaining more appreciation for the connections between course content and their everyday lives.”

Jim Spain, Vice Provost of Undergraduate Studies, said student response to the use of technology in Bush’s general biology course (Bio_Sc 1010) has been very positive.

“Sarah’s focus has centered on her students and their learning with teaching tools supporting that focus on student learning,” Spain said. “She is a master teacher at MU, and we are excited that she is being honored with the Boyer Award.”

Last fall, Bush received MU’s Excellence in Teaching with Technology Award, which celebrates the contributions of faculty, teaching assistants and staff members who use technology to improve teaching and learning at MU.

Past winners of the Boyer Award include MU Associate Professor of Literacy Studies Elizabeth Baker (2011), Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Bethany Stone (2012), and Associate Professor of Architectural Studies Newton D’Souza (2014).

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Written by: Melody Kroll

Related categories:
Awards, Undergraduate Studies