Award recipients come from fields of classics, public policy leadership and modern languages
Nidhi Vij Mali, assistant professor of public policy leadership, received the Howell Family Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award. Named after alumni donors Dr. Norris Howell and Lynne Thomas Howell, both of Ripley, the endowment provides funds to recognize the outstanding teacher of the year within the college.
“We commend Ms. Kaufmann, Dr. Pasco-Pranger and Dr. Mali for their outstanding dedication to teaching and service to our students,” said Lee Cohen, UM liberal arts dean. “These awards symbolize the importance of teaching excellence to our college’s mission. It is an honor and a privilege to recognize this year’s recipients.”
Each of the recipients expressed gratitude for their recognition:
“The award is fuel for encouragement, appreciation and gratitude,” said Mali, who joined the university’s public policy leadership faculty in 2016. “It gives me confidence in what I do every day and grateful that the students appreciate it.
“To have received the award within the second year of my teaching, it has been a very humbling experience.”
Recipients also shared their philosophies of teaching:
“My students and their words of appreciation for the efforts that we put in as teachers are what are most rewarding for me,” said Mali, who also received the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award from the Syracuse University Graduate School in 2016 while earning her doctorate.
Nomination letters noted why each recipient deserved her award:
One writer who nominated Mali wrote, “She does more than just go above and beyond. Besides her amazing teaching abilities, Dr. Mali’s personality inspires me and other students to be the best version of ourselves.”
Another of Mali’s nomination letters said, “she made herself available to me 24/7 to get help. She learned more about me as a person and my home life than anyone else at the university.”