Graduate student is university's fifth to be regionally recognized for teaching excellence
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Kansas State University's Amanda Martens, doctoral student in psychological sciences, is the winner of the 2017 Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Excellence in Teaching Award at the doctoral level. | Download this photo.
MANHATTAN — A Kansas State University doctoral student in psychological sciences is a regional award winner for excelling in teaching and mentoring.
Amanda Martens, Shelby, Iowa, has received the 2017 Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Excellence in Teaching Award for the doctoral level. Martens is the fifth Kansas State University graduate student to win the award.
The award recognizes graduate students who excel in classroom teaching and promote awareness of graduate teaching contributions to the university's scholarship and the teaching mission. Martens will receive a $750 honorarium and will represent Kansas State University at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools, April 5-7 in Indianapolis. She will also present and discuss her teaching philosophy at the annual meeting.
An award winner is selected at both the master's and doctoral levels, with each member institute of the association able to nominate one student in each category.
"I am honored to be recognized as the recipient of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools' Excellence in Teaching Award," Martens said. "This award gives me validation for all of the long hours that have gone into doing the best I can do for my students."
To date, Martens has been the instructor of record 15 times. Her experiences range from teaching introductory courses such as General Psychology and Introductory Psychology Lab at Emporia State University, to teaching both introductory and upper-level courses such as General Psychology, Psychology of Women, Social Psychology and Personality Psychology at Kansas State University.
"My focus has always been on empowerment and engagement with students," Martens said. “My ultimate goal is to empower my students with tools and information that they can use throughout their lives. I engage my students through my use of humor, popular culture examples, and examples that are highly relevant to most college students' lives. This also allows me to develop a rapport with the students. After rapport is developed, I can challenge my students' thinking and discuss topics that are often perceived as difficult and controversial, such as gender, prejudice, feminism and religion."
Her primary research interests focus on examining perceptions of women within the lenses of both traditional and contemporary gender roles. She uses her research program not only to discover novel empirical findings to further the extant knowledge of social psychology, but also as a vehicle by which she empowers her undergraduate collaborators. She mentors up to four undergraduates in her laboratory each semester, and to date she has co-authored 14 national conference presentations with her undergraduate collaborators.
During her four years at Kansas State University, Martens has served as the president of the Graduate Student Council and been active on university committees such as the graduate student representative on the university's Budget Advisory and Space Migration committees.
She has presented her research at both local and national conferences. Martens is working on completing her proposal for her preliminaries for her dissertation project. Following graduation, Martens intends to pursue a faculty role in academia.
Martens earned her Bachelor of Science from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, and her Master of Science from Emporia State University in Emporia.
To view Martens' teaching video, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv0S0q24iJo.
Since 2011, the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools has been recognizing graduate students' teaching accomplishments with its Excellence in Teaching Award. The Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools is a regional affiliate of the Council of Graduate Schools. Member colleges and universities are accredited institutions of higher education in the central U.S. that offer graduate programs leading to masters, specialist, and doctorate degrees.