History prof received teaching award

Shawna Herzog, assistant professor for Washington State University’s Department of History, is the winner of the 2022-23 Excellence in Online Teaching Award. The student-nominated annual award is sponsored by WSU Global Campus.

The award, now in its seventh year, seeks to acknowledge and reward WSU faculty members teaching Global Campus courses who employ best practices to engage, inspire, support, and show care for students in an online environment.

For me, this is the best kind of award — the kind given based on the feedback of students,” said Herzog. “They are the ones who matter the most and who ultimately decide if what I am teaching them is valuable. So, receiving an award like this makes me feel appreciated and valuable.”

Shawna Herzog

Herzog, who also teaches on WSU’s Pullman campus and specializes in the history of imperialism, gender, modern Britain, and slavery in the Indian Ocean, was one of 46 online instructors nominated for the award.

When I teach a Global Campus course, my goal is to make students feel connected and seen,” said Herzog. “Online students are often older with families and already working full-time jobs. Their lives are packed full of obligations and responsibilities. It’s very important to me that they never feel the time they’ve given me was wasted and that they walk away from my courses with identifiable skills they can use in their futures.”

According to Herzog, the positive feedback she is receiving from students is a reflection of the outstanding faculty culture espoused at the history department and WSU as a whole. 

“I am a product of my community and am fortunate to be surrounded by colleagues who are constantly working to find new and innovative ways to connect with students, help them engage in courses, and develop concrete skills,” said Herzog. “Jenny Thigpen, the director of the history department’s Global Campus program, not only leads by example, but also regularly provides opportunities for faculty to develop our understanding of pedagogy and student learning. It’s this kind of culture that empowers faculty like me to succeed.” 

Christie Kittle, assistant director for WSU Learning Innovations, led the committee that reviewed nominations and selected a winner.

“The nominated instructors have a significant and measurable impact on the lives of students globally, and we believe that such dedication deserves recognition,” said Kittle. “They play a crucial role in our global learning community, and we take immense pride in acknowledging and honoring their tireless efforts.”

By Jeff Willadsen, WSU News