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College of Science and Mathematics

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COSAM Faculty Recognized for Exceptional Work

From contributions to their fields to overall excellence, faculty in the College of Science and Mathematics took home a wide range of awards over the summer months.

Allan Rossman, Chair, Statistics Department

Alan RossmanMore than twenty years of advanced statistics led officials with the American Statistical Association (ASA) to one logical conclusion: Allan Rossman merited recognition for his contribution to teaching statistics.

Rossman was awarded the association’s Waller Award, which recognizes individuals who have “sustained excellence in teaching and statistics education.” Recipients of the award are presented with a certificate and $1,000.

To receive the Waller Award, nominees must have 20 or more years of statistics teaching experience and must demonstrate excellence in teaching across a variety of statistics courses as well as a host of other criteria.

Rossman, who has also been a fellow of the ASA, is no stranger to winning teaching awards. In 2010, he was awarded the Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics by the Mathematical Association of America.

Emily Taylor, Professor, Biological Sciences Department

Emily TaylorCal Poly biology professor Emily Taylor became the first woman to receive a prestigious teaching award from the American Society of Ichthyologists & Herpetologists.

Taylor, who has been at Cal Poly since 2005, was presented with the Meritorious Teaching Award in Herpetology in July during the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. The award is given to teachers in North America who have made significant contributions to herpetological education.

In a letter indicating her nomination, officials with the Herpetological Education Committee, which oversees the nominations, said Taylor had “been an inspiration to many students in all areas of herpetological research and teaching as well as public outreach and service.”

“You are to be commended for your continuing role as an influential student mentor who inspires others to follow in your footsteps,” the letter concluded.

Taylor, who runs the Physiological Ecology of Reptiles Lab at Cal Poly, says she is proud of the award for a multitude of reasons, but what makes her most proud, she said, is that her students nominated her.

“I can't think of a higher honor than when your students think enough of your efforts to nominate you for a teaching award,” said Taylor.

John Keller, Professor, Physics Department

John KellerSignificant contributions to science education earned Cal Poly physics professor John Keller a prestigious award from the California Science Teachers Association (CSTA).

Keller was awarded the Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, which honors individuals who have made positive impacts on the quality of science teaching through leadership and service.

Keller — a planetary scientist, astronomer and former middle and high school teacher — has championed science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. He serves as both the co-director for Cal Poly’s Center for Engineering, Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME) and the executive director of the STEM Teacher and Researcher Program, which provides research experience for aspiring K-12 STEM teachers. Keller also helped establish a citizen-scientist project that placed telescopes meant to observe objects in the Kuiper belt in rural towns along the California-Nevada border.

In her recommendation to the CSTA, San Diego State University faculty member Donna Ross wrote that Keller “brings people together who share the desire to make a difference in the development and implementation of programs for science teaching.”

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