April 14, 2016
Professor Michelle Blum was one of seven Syracuse University faculty members to receive a 2016 Meredith Teaching Recognition Award this April. The awards recognize and reward excellence in teaching, encourage faculty members to look upon the many dimensions of teaching as manifold opportunities for constant improvement, emphasize the great importance the University places upon teaching, and improve the teaching and learning processes on campus.
Blum is in her fourth year in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. She utilizes active learning techniques in large class settings, specifically, the undergraduate “Computational Methods” course and the undergraduate “Material Properties and Processing” course. She has developed a variety of courses for the mechanical and aerospace engineering department, including resurrecting the “Finite Element Applications” graduate course. Blum has also been in charge of the extensive revision of several key mechanical engineering courses, including the senior capstone design sequence, and “Machine Design,” which is a key junior level mechanical engineering course. “Professor Blum has been a college leader in implementing dynamic approaches to teaching,” says Mark Glauser, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and associate dean for research and doctoral programs in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “She has made an outstanding effort to vary course material and present it in different and unusual ways. Dr. Blum is receptive to new ideas, and constantly looks for innovative methods to present course content.”
Blum also strives to increase academic excellence within the College through inclusion. She continually works to help promote reform by encouraging the continuing education of women and underrepresented minorities in scientific fields. She also has a passion for outreach, being on the conference committee for Project ENGAGE at Syracuse University, a one-week summer camp in biomedical engineering for eighth-grade girls hosted on campus. For this event, Blum developed and taught a laboratory-based module on mechanics and materials development through biomimicry. The activity was so successful that it was published and presented at the 2015 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition. She is also a founding member of the Leadership Council for a collegewide initiative that created the WiSE: Women of Color in STEM group.
The Meredith Teaching Recognition Awards, as well as the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professorships, were established in 1995 when the University received a substantial bequest from the estate of L. Douglas Meredith, a 1926 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences.
In addition to Blum, six more non-tenured faculty members earned Meredith Teaching Recognition Awards. They are Elizabeth Ashby, Patrick Berry, Dawn Dow, Natalie Koch, Kyle Miller and Kevin Morrison.
Robert Doyle, professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Peter Wilcoxen, professor of public administration and international affairs in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, were named the 2016-19 Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professors of Teaching Excellence at a ceremony this April.