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Teaching Innovation Award & Fellowship

The Teaching Innovation Award and Fellowship was created by Dean Teresa Conner-Kerr in 2015 to support the recognition of excellence in teaching and to encourage novel approaches to best teaching practices. Dr. Conner-Kerr appointed a task force responsible for developing the award criteria and selecting the recipient of this honor; current members include: Chair Kimberly Massey, Dr. Susan Hurley, Kathryn Parrish, Don Walsh, 2017 Teaching Fellow Hannah Cilli, 2018 Teaching Fellow Clay Rowell, and 2019 Teaching Fellow Kim Castle.

This annual award recognizes innovation and creativity in best teaching practices by a CHSP faculty member. Innovative teaching recognizes novel approaches to new teaching methods which engage students in the learning process. It may also involve use of a new instruction technology or the use of traditional technology in new and creative ways. This award is also designed to encourage the dissemination of these approaches to colleagues across disciplines. Each winner will become the CHSP Teaching Fellow for the following year and will receive a monetary award of $1,000 for professional development.

Congratulations to the 2018-2019 recipient

Dr. Kim Castle, Associate Professor, Physical Therapy

Enjoy a Summary of Dr. Kim Castle's Winning Research:

Dr. Kim Castle had the original idea of developing a virtual model to represent the homunculus - the topographic "little man" used by Physical Therapy faculty to describe the motor and sensory pathways on the cortex of the brain.  Together with Dr. Andy Robinson, Dr. Stan Solnik and Dr. Dre Przybyla, Dr. Castle organized Neuroscience and Adult Neuro faculty to combine the homunculus with images of the arterial blood supply, to better explain “vascular syndromes” that occur when a blood vessel is damaged, as in stroke.

The team first met in December to identify what was existed, what they would like the model to do, and what potential there could be for future images and educational training once this project is designed. We believe this has tremendous opportunity for classroom teaching, as well as beyond our students here at UNG as simpler models could help the public or earlier education understand the consequences of motor learning, stroke, and other forms of disease.

Award Information


The annual awardee meets or exceeds the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates significant innovation in teaching
  • Actively promotes and implements aspects of innovation in teaching Acts as a role model for creating and sustaining a culture of creativity
  • The awardee may demonstrate innovations that have:
    • Influenced the methods and teaching effectiveness of other faculty
    • Integrated service-learning into their classes
    • Utilized best practice and unique digital technology in teaching


  • Nominees must be current, full-time faculty members of the CHSP.
  • Nominees may include faculty lecturer, assistant, associate, or full professor status.
  • Nominees must have been employed at UNG for at least one year. Nominees must be in good standing with the UNG.

Nomination Portfolio

All applications should include:

  • A statement that includes: (maximum two pages, double spaced)
    • A description of the specific teaching innovation
    • Information about the origin of the innovative idea
    • How it has benefited students or other faculty
  • Samples of the teaching materials (written, links, video clips, etc.)

Selection Process

  • The CHSP Teaching Innovation Award Committee oversees the award selection process.
  • Nomination applications are available online during the fall semester of each year.
  • Applications are reviewed and the recipient is announced at the end of the spring semester.

Recipient Expectations

The recipient of the CHSP Teaching Innovation Award will have the distinct privilege of serving as the CHSP Teaching Fellow for one year and will assume the following responsibilities:

  • Present their innovation to the CHSP, facilitating inter-professional application.
  • Mentor the next Teaching Fellow and become a member of the subsequent Teaching Innovation Award Committee.
  • Conduct a minimum of one lunch and learn session for the CHSP on a topic consistent with the intent of their fellowship.
  • Provide quarterly teaching tidbits/updates/resources for the CHSP website (twice each fall and spring semester, at the beginning and mid-point).
  • Actively engage with other UNG/USG Teaching Fellows.
  • Provide an annual summary of activity to the CHSP at the end of their one-year appointment.

Suggestions for Additional Fellowship Activities Include:

  • Attend or present at a conference or workshop.
  • Publish a paper on a topic consistent with the intent of their fellowship. Present the innovation through the CTLL at the University level.
  • Identify resources (books, articles, websites, etc.) related to the teaching innovation in a virtual library on the CHSP website.
  • Submit a grant proposal for research.

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