Michigan State University assistant professor Marcos Caballero has been chosen as the recipient of the 2018 MSU President’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon presented the award in a surprise visit to Caballero’s Electricity and Magnetism class on Nov. 29.
Caballero, assistant professor of physics education in the MSU College of Natural Science, studies how tools affect student learning in physics, and the conditions and environments that support or inhibit this learning.
“It is a great honor to receive this award,” said Caballero, who is also a member of MSU's CREATE for STEM Institute. “I am incredibly humbled by the recognition. I'm sure the 60 physics and astronomy majors that I was teaching when President Simon came in will make sure that I stay humbled, at least for the next couple of weeks. The great potential that they have and the bright futures ahead of them are the reasons why I try to teach better every day.”
Caballero conducts research from the high school level to the upper-division college level, and is particularly interested in how students learn physics through their use of mathematics, computing and language. His work employs cognitive and socio-cultural theories of learning, and aims to blend these perspectives to enhance physics instruction at all levels. Caballero's teaching excellence is further amplified by his research program in Physics Education Research, which has brought international recognition to MSU and has attracted more than $3 million in federal funding.
“Dr. Caballero has had a remarkable influence on the teaching culture in our department,” said Phillip Duxbury, professor and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. “His research is focused on student outcomes, and he is expert in building consensus for bringing about change to evidence-based teaching practice. He is a rising star in his field and is considered a superlative teacher by both faculty observers and students. It is a privilege to have Dr. Caballero in our department.”
The President's Distinguished Teaching Award is open to current MSU faculty members who have a sustained record of substantial teaching responsibilities at MSU, and who have implemented creative and engaging ways to foster student learning. Recipients receive a $3,000 stipend and are recognized both during a class taught by the winner and again at the annual All-University Awards Convocation, which will be held Feb. 6.