Honoring Educators Who Make a Difference
What would a University be without its faculty? Professors teach, inspire, engage and mentor. A single class can have a profound impact on a student’s worldview or career path. Supporters can help recognize our most talented faculty through teaching awards.
The College of Humanities and Sciences, for instance, offers several privately funded awards that acknowledge excellence in the classroom. Below, three of this year’s award winners.
Helen and Winston Cox Educational Excellence Award
The college’s longest-standing teaching award recognizes junior faculty members for their excellence and dedication to teaching.
Assistant Professor Sara Rinfret, Political Science
Rinfret made an immediate impact after arriving at UM from Hartwick College in 2014. She teaches students about political issues ranging from state and local government to public administration and environmental regulations. She has an award-winning teaching portfolio and near-perfect student evaluations. She has also guided UM’s online Master of Public Administration program to one of national distinction. As one student said, “Dr. Rinfret has had, and continues to have, a profound impact on my development as a student, a member of the public workforce and as a person. I cannot begin to thank her for everything she has done for me.”
Assistant Professor Matt Roscoe, Math Sciences
Roscoe focuses his efforts on molding the next generation of math teachers at the K-12 level. He has worked closely with colleagues from other institutions to design and deliver face-to-face, online and blended professional learning opportunities for current teachers in the field. His excellence in teaching has influenced teachers, programs and policies beyond the UM campus.“I have had many wonderful professors at the University of Montana, but not one fi ts this award more appropriately than Professor Matt Roscoe,” said one student.
David B. Friend Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching
This award recognizes excellence by non-tenure-track faculty members instructing at the introductory level and beyond.
Lecturer Kevin McManigal, Geography
As the coordinator of UM’s geographic information science and technology certificate, McManigal is largely responsible for student success in navigating the program and transporting new knowledge and skills into the professional environment. His dedication has revitalized and modernized the GIST program, doubling enrollment to nearly 100 students a semester. Students give rave reviews about McManigal’s high energy and inspiring approach. As one colleague put it, “Students gravitate toward him to chat about climbing and hiking and traveling, but there is a lot of life advice being dispensed as well. He really wants everyone to find a passion and dive into ways to make the world a better place.”