Skip to main content

Faculty Award for Excellence in Transformative Teaching

Clinical instructor with student, Professor instructing with animal bones, students and teacher working with analysis equipment made for the head.

The Faculty Award for Excellence in Transformative Teaching recognizes a colleague for achievement in an imaginative teaching practice. Nominations should highlight an illustrative practice that demonstrates their colleague’s innovation. This might take the form of a curricular revision, a course redesign, an inventive tradition, a new teaching format, an exemplary project, a new immersive experience, for instance. Nominations for practices that have the ability to be shared, scaled, and to inspire peer teachers are especially encouraged. The Award celebrates, teaching that transforms the students, and the teacher, and even the broader community.  
Starting in 2017, this faculty award showcases our faculty’s shared commitment to the Jesuit core value of magis, a constant challenge to improve. The Committee on Teaching Enhancement selects a teaching practice that best exemplifies a commitment to imaginative and effective teaching, based on peer nomination. Each year's honored colleague shows us all what is possible, in the classroom and beyond. The recipient will be announced at Maryland Day.

Nominate a Colleague

Current Awardee

2024 - Oghenetoja Okoh, history Dr. Toja Okoh

Toja Okoh is Assistant Professor of African History here at Loyola University Maryland. Her work concentrates on minority identity, gender, migration, and citizenship in Modern Nigeria. Her forthcoming book, which will be published by Cambridge University Press, is titled Minority Identities in Nigeria: Contesting and Claiming Citizenship in the Twentieth Century. Her teaching incorporates different techniques and technologies that invites students to engage and collaborate in their learning in multiple ways. Recently, she took an enthusiastic group of students on an immersive trip to Belgium and the Netherlands to learn about colonial African history. Her main courses in African and African Diaspora History often cross-list with the following programs: Global Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies; and Peace and Justice Studies.

Past Awardees

2023 - Timothy Clark, mathematics and statisticstimothy clark

Timothy B. P. Clark is Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He holds degrees from the State University of New York; a B.A. in Mathematics from the College at Geneseo, an M.S.Ed. in Mathematics Education from the College at Cortland, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University at Albany. He conducts research in the field of combinatorial commutative algebra, where he studies geometric and combinatorial objects that encode information about systems of algebraic equations. Teaching courses such as combinatorics, calculus, proof-writing, and abstract algebra, he mixes active learning techniques in the classroom with the use of rubrics and specifications-based grading. Through student discourse, meta-cognitive strategies, revise-and resubmits, and reflections on representation in mathematics, Dr. Clark works to facilitate a growth mindset in students through mathematical communication.

2022 - Jeremy Schwartz, economicsjeremy schwartz

Dr. Jeremy Schwartz is an associate professor of economics at Loyola University. He earned a B.S. in Economics, Finance and Philosophy at Boston College and his Ph.D. in Economics from The George Washington University. His research focuses on the labor market and specifically social programs and business cycle dynamics. In addition, Dr. Schwartz currently holds the Impact Fellowship and is conducting research examining housing regulation in Baltimore by evaluating policies that can improve the housing quality of our city. In the classroom, Dr. Schwartz incorporates issues of diversity, equity and inclusion into his courses including two diversity designated courses, Labor Economics and the Economics Race and Inequality. In addition, he utilizes experiential learning techniques including Service-Learning, which allows students to make connections between complex economics concepts and the real experiences of our Baltimore neighbors trying to find work in the city.  

2021 - Jeffrey Witt, philosophyjeffrey witt, associate professor of philosophy

Jeffrey Witt is an associate professor of philosophy at Loyola University Maryland. He completed his graduate work in the philosophy department at Boston College in 2012. His dissertation focused on issues of faith, reason, and theological knowledge in the late medieval Sentences commentaries tradition. He is the co-editor of The Theology of John Mair (Brill 2015) and the co-author of a monograph on the 14th century philosopher and theologian Robert Holcot (Oxford University Press, 2016). He is also the founder, designer, and developer of the Scholastic Commentaries and Texts Archive (, a digital archive organizing and publishing scholastic text-data. He works regularly in the field of digital humanities, employing new digital methods to understand and analyze the medieval scholastic corpus. Dr. Witt especially enjoys introducing Loyola students to these new approaches and has introduced several students to these methods through independent study and research mentorships.

2020 - Elizabeth Dahl, chemistryElizabeth Dahl

Elizabeth Dahl is an associate professor of chemistry at Loyola University.  She earned a B.S. in Marine Science and Chemistry from the University of Miami and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Earth system science from the University of California, Irvine. Her research focuses on oceanic trace gases and atmospheric chemistry, which she has integrated into her teaching at Loyola through both her mentoring of research students and in her teaching of analytical chemistry and Earth science. She is a tireless champion on the environment, and works with the Environmental Action Club, as well as with fellow faculty and staff at Loyola, to promote understanding and activism in support of a livable future.  This includes developing an Environmental Film Series and advocating always for bringing more environmental programming, speakers and education opportunities to the university.  Her work with students focuses on connecting environmental issues and social justice to inspire care and stewardship of our common home and hope for the future.

2019 - David Rivers, biology

David Rivers a is Professor of Biology and Director of Forensic Studies at Loyola University Maryland. He received his B.S. in Biology from Ball State University, a Ph.D. indavid rivers, professor of biology Entomology with a concentration in Insect Physiology from the Ohio State University, and was a NIH post-doctoral fellow in Cellular and Molecular Parasitology at the University of Wisconsin. He joined the faculty at Loyola in 1994, was named the Harry Rodgers III Teacher of the Year in 1999 and has served as chair of the biology department on two occasions. He is a member of the North American Forensic Entomology Association, Entomological Society of America, and American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He also is co-author of the critically acclaimed textbook The Science of Forensic Entomology and conducts research in several areas involving necrophagous flies and parasitic wasps as they relate to legal investigations.

2018 - Giuseppina Iacono Lobo, EnglishDr. G. Lobo

Giuseppina Iacono Lobo joined the Loyola community in 2011 and currently serves as an Associate Professor of English. Her research interests include seventeenth-century prose and poetry, especially the works of the poet-polemicist John Milton, the intersection of politics, theology, and literature, and, most recently, disability studies. She has taught over a dozen different courses to both core and major students, including service-learning and diversity courses. Dr. Iacono Lobo’s classes cover a vast array of topics, from early modern prison writing, to contemporary disability literature, to even African American adaptations of Milton’s epic, Paradise Lost. In both her classroom and service at Loyola, Dr. Iacono Lobo takes a particular interest in diversity and social justice.

2017 - Nicholas Miller, Englishphoto of nicholas miller

Nicholas Andrew Miller, associate professor of English and director of the Loyola film studies program, received his Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Pennsylvania. His areas of teaching and scholarly interest include film animation, early cinema, the intersections between modernist print and visual cultures, and twentieth-century Irish and British literature. He is currently at work on an interdisciplinary study of metamorphosis in modernist visual culture titled Metaphor and Metamorphosis Animating the Modern Imagination. He is the author of Modernism, Ireland, and the Erotics of Memory (Cambridge, 2002).