The UNM College of Arts and Sciences recently announced three full-time faculty members were selected to receive a 2022 Marshall Award for Course Development and Curriculum Enhancement. Each Marshall Award winner will receive $2,000 to support the work that they will be undertaking this summer.

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In the Humanities, the awardee is Jonathan Davis-Secord, associate professor in the Department of English. Davis-Secord will be refining the version of ENGL 451/551: Topics in Medieval Studies that is focused on Old Norse. His project, in essence, is to develop a new course on Old Norse that draws on the improved ways that the language has come to be taught over the last two decades, and one that is sure to draw the attention of students interested in Viking Mythology.


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In the Social Sciences, the awardee is Sharon Erickson Nepstad, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Sociology. Nepstad will be enhancing the delivery of the theoretical material that is the centerpiece of SOCI 371: Sociological Theory. She aims to develop a “living theory” approach to this material, one that connects the works of thinkers such as de Beauvoir, Marx, and Weber with current social phenomena and that, in turn, puts these works into dialogue with students’ lived experiences. 

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In the Sciences, the awardee is James L. Thomas, associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Thomas will be developing a new curricular framework for PHYS 1320: Calculus-Based Physics II. At the heart of this new framework will be newly developed demonstrations, or “events,” that motivate students to think in terms of predictive success rather than right answers and that will thereby help them appreciate that thinking like a scientist is more complicated than a right-answer approach would suggest.

These are three examples of the innumerous faculty working across the College to improve the learning experience of UNM students. The pool of applications for a Marshall Award was incredibly strong this year, and it provided firm evidence that the student-centered vision for improving curriculum and instruction exemplified by Diane Marshall’s contributions to the College is alive and well across Arts & Sciences.