Published: Dec. 1, 2016

MSU James Madison College professor wins teaching award

Contact(s): Stepheni Schlinker Office of Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education office: (517) 884-8011

A James Madison College professor is the first recipient of a Michigan State University teaching award that recognizes innovation in the classroom.

Colleen Tremonte was saluted with the inaugural President’s Distinguished Teaching Award. MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon presented it to her in a surprise visit to the Film, History and Nation class Tremonte teaches in Case Hall.

“Professor Tremonte’s record is that of a exceptional teacher who uses cutting-edge pedagogy in her courses, and who is deeply committed to interdisciplinary studies,” Simon said. “Generations of students have testified to her life-changing courses, from first-year writing to comparative cultures and politics.”

Tremonte also is known as a “teacher of teachers,” having made substantial contributions in the scholarship of teaching and learning. She created and directs the Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Teaching Fellowship for graduate students. 

The award recognizes faculty who:

  • demonstrate energy and enthusiasm for engaging students in their learning;
  • inspire students in unique ways or challenge them in innovative ways;
  • create in their students a sense of intellectual curiosity, exciting them about learning;
  • nurture and empower students to enact change in their own and the lives of others;
  • extend learning in innovative ways beyond the walls of the traditional classroom;
  • implement learning outcomes assessment and exhibit a commitment to the scholarship of teaching and learning;
  • and have influenced others to enhance their teaching by sharing their knowledge.

The award, which recognizes the role faculty play in creating innovative environments that enable student learning within and across disciplinary, cultural and ethnic boundaries, is provided through an endowment from MSU professor Carl Liedholm and his wife Margaret Liedholm.

“In my experience, there are very few people in our lives who exert such a profound effect that we can trace back entire patterns of thinking and working to their influence,” said Greta Stahl, a former student of Tremonte’s. “I say, without a doubt in my mind, that Dr. Tremonte has been one of these people in my life, and I feel deeply grateful to have known her and to have learned from her. She is a unique and important asset to MSU and could not be more deserving of this award.”

The award comes with a monetary prize of $3,000 and will be officially conferred during the All University Awards ceremony in the spring of 2017.  

Colleen Tremonte (middle), professor in James Madison College, receives the inaugural President’s Distinguished Teaching Award from MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon and Carl Liedholm, professor in the Department of Economics. Liedholm and his wife, Margaret, provided the endowment for the award. Photo by Stepheni Schlinker