TLC Highlighted Teachers of the Month

May 2022

David Thompson, Associate Professor in Applied Human Sciences

David Thompson on Zipline

Our highlighted teacher this week is David Thompson, Teaching Associate Professor in Applied Human Sciences. His passion for students and desire that their learning be transformative is expressed in a lively teaching style through class discussions. He specializes in courses relating to successful interpersonal skills, communication, and conflict resolution. In his “Interpersonal and Family Relationships” class a course contract allows students to choose how they will pursue, and express, learning. A self-proclaimed “Peacemaker” and Approved Mediator, his “Interpersonal Conflict Resolution” courses and professional trainings equip students and professionals, online and on campus, to successfully deal with their own interpersonal conflicts.

Click here to see a video of David discussing his teaching.

APRIL 2022

Lisa Tatonetti, Professor of English

Lisa Tatonetti

Our highlighted teacher this week is LisaTatonetti. who is a settler scholar and a professor of English at Kansas State University where she studies, teaches, and publishes on queer Indigenous literatures and works to make productive change happen with her partners in the Indigenous Faculty and Staff Alliance.Tatonetti is co-editor of Sovereign Erotics, an award-winning collection of Two-Spirit creative work, and author of The Queerness of Native American Literature, which won WLA’s Thomas J. Lyons Book Award and is on the ALA Over the Rainbow Recommended Reading List. Her most recent book, Written by the Body: Gender Expansiveness and Indigenous Non-cis Masculinities, was published in September 2021 by the University of Minnesota. She has been recognized multiple time for her teaching, including, most recently, by the Ron N. Gaches Lifetime Teaching Award. Tatonetti argues that the cornerstone of her pedagogy is community engagement—forming a lively classroom community and also creating opportunities to extend these conversations to university, local, and state communities.Check out her students’ photo essays, plague diaries, her work with McNair mentee Bailey Britton, or her work with undergraduate researchers like Kinsley Searles.

Click here to see a video of Lisa discussing her teaching.

Doris Wright Carroll, Associate Professor in the College of Education

Doris Carroll

Our highlighted teacher this week is Doris Wright Carroll, who is an associate professor in Special Education, Counseling and Student Affairs. She is a recognized graduate teaching expert in counselor education, multicultural competency, distance education and academic advising. Her teaching philosophy has evolved from her clinical work, and encourages student engagement, cultural humility and multicultural cultural practice. Dr. Carroll’s teaching highlights the importance of peer-to-peer engagement using small learning groups led by a student leader. Collaborative, creative team projects are the outcome of these learning groups, and several have been showcased in education and advising professional meetings and conferences.

Click here to see a video of Doris discussing her teaching.

MARCH 2022

Nathaniel Birkhead, Associate Professor of Political Science

Nate Birkhead

Our highlighted teacher this week is Nate Birkhead, whose teaching philosophy is as follows: “Every year in my classes, I have the privilege of teaching the American political system to future teachers, doctors, farmers, social workers, lawyers, and many more. I recognize while not everyone shares my passion for understanding the political system, what I try do is share my enthusiasm for how the political system influences all of us, and why that matters – even if we do not particularly like ‘politics.’ I always want students to be able to connect concepts in class to real-world scenarios, and work to understand the complex relationships that help explain what they encounter in real life.”

Click here to see a video of Nate discussing his teaching.

Matthew Kirk, Associate Professor of Geology

Matt Kirk

Our highlighted teacher this week is Matt Kirk, whose teaching philosophy is as follows. “There are many things that an instructor can do to make a class more effective, but in my opinion one of the biggest is to increase student motivation. We listen closely to things we’re motivated to hear. We put more effort into things we’re more motivated to do. Work doesn’t always feel like work if we’re strongly motivated for it. There are several ways to build motivation, but one approach I use is to focus our conversations at the start of the semester on ‘why we care?’ and ‘how is this useful?’. I then return to these conversations throughout the semester with each new topic.”

Click here to see a video of Matt discussing his teaching.


Ken Hughey, Professor of Special Education, Counseling, and Student Affairs

Ken Hughey

This week’s highlighted teacher is Ken Hughey, whose teaching philosophy is as follows: “I am a Professor in the Department of Special Education, Counseling, and Student Affairs in the College of Education and in my 32nd year at Kansas State. Currently, I teach in School Counseling, and advise master’s students in Academic Advising and School Counseling and doctoral students in Counselor Education. My goal in teaching is to contribute to graduate students’ learning and development professionally and personally. Teaching is a responsibility I take seriously as my work involves preparing graduate students to work with elementary, middle, and high school students and in higher education. In my teaching, I continually strive to learn and to be current in the profession. Through my interactions I work to develop relationships with my students and demonstrate an approach in which students feel valued and supported. In addition, my intent is to provide constructive, relevant feedback that contributes to students’ learning. Over my career in education which began in 1972 as a high school math teacher to my faculty role at Kansas State University, I found working and interacting with students to be a rewarding experience and one that I hope contributed to the development of quality professionals.”

Click here to see a video of Ken discussing his teaching.

Trina Knight, Graduate Instructor of Sociology and Criminology

Trina Knight

This week’s TLC Highlighted Teacher is Trina Knight. The following is how Trina approaches her teaching. I approach teaching with four main goals. First, I seek to motivate students to apply concepts to their lives and to the lives of others. Second, consistency remains key as we continue to muddle through the COVID-19 pandemic. I seek to be a source of stability and empathy for students. Third, I prompt students discover sources of knowledge beyond the traditional academic setting through music, film, and literature. Lastly, I acknowledge the limits of my own knowledge, experiences, and expertise and invite community and campus guest speakers to share their unique knowledge with students beyond what I can offer them. As an instructor, it is important that I never become unteachable. I continue to learn from failures and to listen and respond to student needs as they arise. I have found that students find the greatest success when they are healthy, empowered, and hopeful.

Click here to see a video of Trina discussing her teaching.


Clarissa Steele, Assistant Professor in the Department of Management

This week, our highlighted teacher is Clarissa Steele. Clarissa is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management. She teaches courses in organizational behavior and human resource management. Her teaching philosophy is as follows: "My teaching philosophy revolves around two goals: 1) having students apply the business concepts we learn in class to their lives and 2) understanding issues around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging so that they respect different perspectives they may encounter in the workplace and outside of work. I often provide students real-life examples from my own work experience as well as bringing in topics and issues that are in the news. Although students may not remember all of the details from my class, I hope that students take away the ideas we learn and feel empowered to use those concepts to meet their personal and professional goals and to improve the workplace for themselves and others. I want them to leave K-State confident that they can make a difference in the world."

Click here to see a video of Clarissa describing her teaching.

Taylor Vargo, Graduate Instructor in Psychological Sciences

This week, our highlighted teacher is Taylor Vargo. Taylor is a Graduate Instructor in the Department of Psychological Sciences and teaches several courses, including Experimental Methods, General Psychology, Consumer Psychology, and Human Factors. Her teaching philosophy is as follows: “My teaching/mentoring philosophy is focused around fostering excitement for my course materials and encouraging students to make connections between my courses and their daily lives. To do this, I focus on application assignments that do not require rote memorization of materials and rather highlight an understanding and ability to critically evaluate examples in their lives and during class time. This creates a classroom culture where students are using their voices to discuss material and critiques among fellow students and myself, bringing different ideas, thoughts, and experiences to the table to enhance their learning.”

Click here to see a video of Taylor describing her teaching.


Katie Heinrich, Professor of Exercise Behavioral Science

This week, our highlighted teacher is Katie Heinrich. Her bio and teaching philosophy are as follows: “I am a Professor of Exercise Behavioral Science and Interim Department Head of Kinesiology. I teach classes in Exercise Behavioral Science, Obesity and Physical Activity, and Professional Development. I also mentor undergraduate and graduate students in research through the Functional Intensity Training Lab. My teaching/mentoring philosophy is focused on challenging students to learn, engage with, and apply course and research content; supporting them through this process by being present, giving constructive criticism and praise, and figuring out what resources they need; and extending kindness by caring for them as people who are much more than simply students..”

Click here to see a video of Katie describing her teaching.

Lisa Rubin, Associate Professor of Special Education, Counseling, and Student Affairs

This week, our highlighted teacher is Lisa Rubin. Her teaching philosophy is as follows: “I am a very practical person so I seek to teach so students can apply what they learn to activities that will benefit them as they prepare for their careers in higher education. I start with foundations before going to current literature and topics, so for example, in my Current Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics course, we start with the history of college sports in the 1800s before we ever get to what is going on today, as everything happening now is a result of the past. My courses provide students opportunities for networking and professional development as they pursue graduate education to advance their careers.”

Click here to see a video of Lisa describing her teaching.


Linda Yarrow, Assistant Professor of Food, Nutrition, Dietetics, and Health

This week, our highlighted teacher is Linda Yarrow. Linda Yarrow teaches Clinical Nutrition 1 and 2 in the Dept of Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health in the College of Health and Human Sciences. Dr. Yarrow obtained her BS in Education, MS in Dietetics and PhD in Human Nutrition, all from K-State. She is also a currently practicing clinical Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Clay County Medical Center. Her philosophy: “Students deserve quality instruction in an environment that stimulates them, challenges them, and celebrates their accomplishments! Don’t be afraid to try something new! Teachers committed to growth and development need to occasionally take risks with new teaching strategies and not be afraid of failure. In doing so, we will have both successes and failures….and we learn from both!”

Click here to watch a video of Linda discussing her teaching.

MAY 2021

Amelia Hicks, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Our TLC Highlighted Teacher this week is Amelia Hicks. Her bio is as follows. Many people assume that ethics is a mere “matter of opinion.” But in my courses, I emphasize that it is possible—and essential—to reason rigorously about moral problems. I aim for my students to understand a wide variety of moral perspectives, and to reflect on the moral assumptions that drive their everyday choices. I introduce abstract moral theories within the context of real-world moral problems, and I encourage students to connect moral reflection to their interests and backgrounds.

Click here to see a video of Amelia discussing her teaching.

Suzanne Porath, Assistant Professor of Elementary Literacy

Our TLC Highlighted Teacher this week is Suzanne Porath. Dr. Suzanne Porath was an English Language Arts, history, and humanities teacher, curriculum coordinator, and reading teacher for 13 years before becoming a teacher educator. As an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, she teaches courses in literacy for undergraduates, graduate Reading Specialists, and in the Master of Arts in Teaching for Secondary English Language Arts program and advises students in the two graduate programs. An advocate for action research, she is the editor-in-chief of Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research .

As a constructivist, she uses traditional tools like graphic organizers and chart paper along with technological tools like FlipGrid, Padlet, and Abode Spark to encourage students to interact with each other and make their thinking visible. This supports students in constructing their own meaning of content and applying it in new situations. She helps students develop a habit of reflection with a focus on metacognition, understanding themselves, perspective taking, and self-evaluation. Her life’s mission is “To support all people in being and becoming the best they can be.” As a Strengths Champion, she believes that all students can leverage their own strengths in their personal and professional lives to achieve holistic wellbeing.

Click here to see a video of Suzanne discussing her teaching.

APRIL 2021

Robert Pettay, Instructor of Kinesiology

Our TLC Highlighted Teacher this week is Robert Pettay. His teaching philosophy is as follows. In Motivation and Personality (1954), Abraham Maslow states “What a man can be, he must be”. Maslow’s concept of self-actualization represents the highest-order motivations, which drive us to realize our true potential and achieve our ‘ideal self’. On a daily basis, that is how I approach my teaching and advising. My approach to my work is a desire to help our students achieve at the highest level possible and in the process I am able to find meaningful and fulfilling experiences as a teacher and advisor. A good day is a day when I can go home at night and feel like I helped make a student’s day better or provided some level of knowledge or inspiration that will benefit the student moving forward. Being accessible, listening, and being a role-model by continually working to improve my knowledge and experiences are facets that influence my work. Finding appreciation in the opportunity to be a teacher and advisor and having as many of those peak moments as possible keep the energy level up and bring meaning to my work.

Click here to see a video of Robert Pettay discussing his teaching philosophy.

Brent Weaver, Learning Assistant Coordinator of K-State First

Our TLC Highlighted Teacher this week is Brent Weaver. Brent Weaver is the Learning Assistant Coordinator with K-State First, the University’s first-year experience program and is the 2021 recipient of the President's Award of Excellence of Unclassified Professionals in the category of Team Building, Community Building, and Service to the University. Through his work, he teaches both a first-year experience course and a training course for the peer mentors who support first-year students. As a teacher, he strives to create a community of care that also values deep reflection. Outside of K-State, Brent has been involved in over 12 theatrical productions since 2017 as an actor, writer, and composer, and co-hosts a podcast called Snarkcast.

Click here to see a video of Brent Weaver discussing his teaching.

MARCH 2021

Shireen Roshanravan, Associate Professor of American Ethnic Studies

Our TLC Highlighted Teacher this week is Shireen Roshanravan. Associate Professor in the Department of American Ethnic Studies, and affiliated faculty member in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, Dr. Roshanravan works at the intersection of Women of Color coalition politics, decoloniality, critical race and feminist/queer of color theory, comparative ethnic and Asian American studies. She earned her doctorate from the State University of New York at Binghamton in the interdisciplinary program of Philosophy, Interpretation & Culture. During her time at Binghamton University, she co-founded a local chapter of the Incite! Women, Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color Against Violence movement and became a member of la Escuela Popular Norteña, a popular education school based in Northern New Mexico. Shireen is co-editor with Lynn Fujiwara of Asian American Feminisms and Women of Color Politics (University of Washington Press, 2018). She is also co-editor with Pedro DiPietro and Jennifer McWeeny of Speaking Face-to-Face: The Visionary Philosophy of María Lugones (SUNY Press, 2019). Her current book project is tentatively titled The Coalitional Imperative: Political Integrity at the Limits of Queer Rupture.

Click here to see a video of Shireen discussing her teaching.

Rachel Levitt, Assistant Professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

Our TLC Highlighted Teacher this week is Rachel Levitt. Dr. Rachel Levitt (they/them) is an Assistant Professor in the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Department here K-State. They hold a PhD in American Studies and two graduate certificates: one in Women Studies and the other in Race and Social Justice. On campus, they serve on the Transgender Taskforce, are a member of the LGBTQ* Faculty Staff Alliance, and also serve as an advisor for the Queer Studies minor. Off campus, Dr. Levitt serves on the board of the Flint Hills Human Rights Project, a local non-profit that organizes for the rights of local LGBTQ Kansans.

Dr. Levitt’s approach to teaching is as follows: “I teach about violence--sexual assault, hate crimes, racial violence, colonial resource extraction, the perpetual punishment of the legal system--and that’s hard. But I try to teach from a thoroughly queer, feminist, trauma-informed perspective. With lifetime exposure to traumatic events estimated to impact about 90 percent of the U.S. adult population, and queers, folks of color, Native folks, and those at the intersections of those identities experiencing the highest rates of violence, trauma is more the norm than the exception. Taking this into account, I strive to make my approach to teaching one that makes my small corner of the University not just one where I make individual accommodations for those negotiating the aftereffects of trauma, but where my entire course and methodology of teaching, advising, and mentoring centers trauma. Part of studying violence means understanding the impacts violence has and being responsible as an instructor when it comes to navigating how the subject we are studying has been the lived experience of so many. This means that as we study sexual assault, racial and colonial violence, hate crimes, and bullying, it is personal for many of us. It means that above all else, safety and empowerment come first. Traumas can present daunting challenges, but the growth that happens after struggling with the aftermath of trauma, finding support, claiming your voice, and accessing your power can also have radically positive effects. At the core of my approach to teaching is understanding that trauma needs to be respected both for how it can limit us, as well as how it can be a springboard to action.”

Kathy Brockway, Professor of Integrated Studies

Our TLC Highlighted Teacher this week is Kathy Brockway. Kathy J. Brockway, CPA (inactive), is a professor in the Department of Integrated Studies. Prior to joining the faculty, Kathy gained valuable professional experience in public, private, and not-for-profit accounting. She is also a nationally known speaker and corporate trainer recognized for creating and delivering personalized, engaging, and interactive business acumen workshops to organizations, including Fortune 50 companies. She lives in Salina, Kansas with her husband, Troy, who is a professor in the KSU Department of Aviation, her 13-year old son, Aidan, and her spirited beagle, Lillian. She loves the gym, college basketball, and travel.

Click here to watch a video of Kathy Brockway discussing her teaching.


Eva Horne, Teaching Professor of Biology

Our TLC Highlighted Teacher this week is Eva Horne. Eva Horne received her BS at East Tennessee State University and her MS from the University of Southwestern Louisiana before coming to K-State in 1991 as a graduate student. Since receiving her PhD in 1996, she has been involved in teaching, coordinating, and designing materials for Principles of Biology, a large introductory majors/non-majors Biology course. This course serves hundreds of students every semester and is taught using a studio format, in which students work with computer simulations and lab equipment to gain experience in the application of knowledge. Most recently, she has been involved in the design and implementation of an online version of the course through Global Campus that uses software to incorporate truly interactive material. Dr. Horne also teaches Behavioral Ecology, an upper-level elective course, in which she encourages discussion during lectures and has incorporated several simple computer “games”. Students then answer questions about data collected from each game. Another aspect of teaching for Dr. Horne is the mentoring of undergraduate students in personalized research projects of their own. One of her favorite things about teaching is inspiring, and expanding upon, the natural curiosity of all people. She is currently a Teaching Associate professor in the Division of Biology and also serves as the Assistant Director of the Konza Prairie Biological station.

Click here to view a video of Eva Horne discussing her teaching.

Andie Faber, Assistant Professor of Spanish

Our TLC Highlighted Teacher this week is Andie Faber. Dr. Andie Faber has been an Assistant Professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages since 2019. She teaches courses in linguistics and second language pedagogy and is currently serving as the coordinator of the basic Spanish language program. Before coming to K-State, Dr. Faber taught in an array of settings: the non-profit sector, corporate classes, large and small public universities, and a private elite institution. She has worked in classrooms around the United States and internationally. These experiences have informed her views on the importance of diversity and have helped her to create and adapt classes to reach a multitude of learners.

Click here to view a video of Dr. Faber discussing her teaching.


J.J. Brotton, Instructor of Marketing

Our TLC Highlighted Teacher this week is J. J. Brotton. J. J. Brotton is an instructor within the Department of Marketing. She earned her BA at Wichita State University in 1995 and her MS at Baker University in 1999. She currently teaches several sections of MKTG 400 (Introduction to Marketing) and is a TLC Fellow.

Click here to view a video of J. J. discussing her teaching.

Taylor Jennings, Graduate Instructor of Global Conversations

Our TLC Highlighted Teacher this week Taylor Jennings. Taylor joined the K-State family in 2013. In her almost 8 years, she has taken on various roles as an instructor and advisor. She currently teaches a CAT Class, Global Conversations, and is a doctoral candidate in Student Affairs in Higher Education. The best part of teaching for Taylor is getting to know the students. She has been fortunate to have taught 438 students from 33 different countries. Working with students, she is driven by her belief that each individual student is unique, should be celebrated, and has the ability to learn. “I am grateful for every day that I get to interact with students and watch them develop and learn. It is a humbling experience that I will never take for granted.”

Click here to view a video of Taylor discussing her teaching.


Natasha Rozhkovskaya, Professor of Mathematics

Our TLC Highlighted Teacher this week Natasha Rozhkovskaya. Professor Natasha Rozhkovskaya specializes in algebra and representation theory. She received her Ph.D from University of Pennsylvania. She is co-author of a monograph Bombay Lectures on Highest Weight Representations of Infinite Dimensional Lie Algebras (2013). Her book Math Circle for Elementary School Students (2014) was featured as the American Mathematical Society bestseller. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on connections between modern art and mathematical sciences. The results of a recent collaboration of Dr. Rozhkovskaya with Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art are summarized in the monograph M is for Math, Museum, and Manhattan, Kansas, (2017).

During her decade of service at K-State Dr. Rozhkovskaya taught a broad spectrum of mathematical courses and activities, from the programs for the elementary school students up to advanced courses for math Ph.D students. She believes that love for knowledge should be supported from early childhood, and for this reason she is actively involved in math programs for school students. She founded and has directed the Math Circle Seminar, a highly demanded program for school students with strong interest in mathematics, for the past 10 years. She organized a number of math competitions, serving as a State Director for Math Kangaroo Mathematics Competition, and as a Kansas manager of National Computational Linguistics Olympiad.

Click here to view a video of Dr. Rozhkovskaya discussing her teaching.


LaBarbara Wigfall, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning

Our TLC Highlighted Teacher this week is LaBarbara Wigfall. LaBarbara joined the K-State faculty in 1987 after ten years of private practice in Texas and faculty appointments/fellowships at Howard University, The University of Texas, The University of California/Berkeley, and The University of Arkansas/ Fayetteville. She is the first African-American female faculty member to receive tenure and promotion at K-State in 1997, having garnered several K-State awards for distinguished service to minority education and outstanding undergraduate teaching. LaBarbara initiated the KSU Hazardous Substance Research Center as a strategic planner. Community projects for Stella, Missouri; Olathe, Kansas; and Newburg, Missouri highlight the positive impact of a visioning process on community well-being.

Click here to view a video of LaBarbara discussing her teaching.

Andrew Kohls, International Student Advisor

Our TLC Highlighted Teacher this week is Andrew Kohls. Andrew has been working at Kansas State University since 2012. During his time at K-State, he has met some amazing colleagues and mentors who have pushed him to not only continue in his own educational endeavors and professional development, but to also consider teaching. Education has always played an important role in Andrew's family; with many of his cousins also choosing to pursue careers in education. Since 2016, Andrew has been an instructor for DAS100: Introduction to K-State Culture with the K-State First Program.

Through his teaching, he values communication and inclusion among his students and strives to expose students to all that K-State can offer; particularly in their first year. In his full-time role, Andrew serves as Senior Assistant Director in the Kansas State University Career Center where he works with Arts & Sciences graduate students, as well as students in the College of Architecture, Planning and Design.

Click here to view a video of Andrew discussing his teaching.


Katie Loughmiller, Associate Professor of Architectural Engineering and Construction Science

Our TLC Highlighted Teacher this week is Katie Loughmiller. Katie is an associate professor in the G.E Johnson Department of Architectural Engineering and Construction Science. Her teaching focus is upper-level construction management courses including the senior capstone course. Throughout all of her teaching, the primary focus is on creating project-based learning opportunities for her students.

In addition to her teaching, Katie is actively involved with her students through advising the K-State Chapter of the Sigma Lambda Chi (Construction Science) National Honorary. She is also active at a national level through her leadership as the Region 4 Director of the Associated Schools of Construction.

Click here to view a video of Katie and her teaching.

Tim Shaffer, Associate Professor of Communication Studies

As an interdisciplinary scholar and practitioner of deliberative democracy, civic education, and group communication, Dr. Timothy J. Shaffer focuses on the advancement of democratic practices by focusing on the role of civic professionals in institutional settings such as higher education, local government, and non-governmental organizations in relationship with diverse communities.

Dr. Shaffer is the editor of Deliberative Pedagogy: Teaching and Learning for Democratic Engagement (Michigan State University Press, 2017), Jumping into Civic Life: Stories of Public Work from Extension Professionals (Kettering Foundation Press, 2018), Agri-Culture and Future of Farming: An Interactivity Foundation Discussion Guidebook (Interactivity Foundation, 2018), A Crisis of Civility? Political Discourse and Its Discontents (Routledge, 2019), and Creating Space for Democracy: A Primer on Dialogue and Deliberation in Higher Education (Stylus, 2019).

Dr. Shaffer currently serves an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies and as director of the Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy at Kansas State University. He is also principal research specialist with the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University.

Click HERE to view a video of Tim and his teaching.

Laura Kanost, Professor of Modern Languages

I'm Laura Kanost and I'm a professor of Spanish, and I mainly teach literature and translation. No matter what class I'm teaching, my approach is to guide communities of students through experiences that develop their ability to think critically and communicate in culturally diverse environments. For this to be possible, I work to create a situation in my classroom where each person feels respected and valued, and I incorporate community engagement. Even though I've been teaching at K-State for 12 years now and have taught some courses numerous times, my job never gets old because the people and the circumstances are always changing.

Click HERE to view a video of Laura and her teaching.

MARCH 2020

Brian McCornack, Professor of Entymology




My name is Brian McCornack and I am a Professor and Interim Head for Entomology at K-State. Teaching—more importantly, helping students, colleagues, and farmers connect with content in new ways—has been a life-long passion of mine. From a young age, I had the best mentor—my father. The mantra of “see what you’re looking at” has become a foundation for how I use inquiry in the classroom and my research. “What do you notice? And what do you wonder?” Simple questions that have led me to a professional mission centered on helping students make connections—the “lightbulb moments” that spark creativity and deeper investigations in the classroom. With practice, and sometimes outright failure, inquiry becomes the basis for many learners, especially as they venture out into the world, pursuing a path of perpetual learning.

Click HERE to view a video of Brian and his teaching.


Tucker Jones & Katie Cline


Tucker Picture




TLC would like to highlight two graduate students who have recently won the Graduate Student Council’s Award for Graduate Student Teaching Excellence. These students will also serve as Kansas State University's nominees for the annual Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Excellence in Teaching Award. These nominees compete for a $750 honorarium that is presented at the annual MAGS meeting in April. Click on the links provided below to learn more about these individuals and see examples of their teaching styles.


Brandon Savage, Instructor of Mangagement




Brandon received his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a dual major in Strategic Management and Operations/Information Management. He has spent a majority of his career in industry as an operations executive with an emphasis on Customer Experience (CX). In addition to teaching Operations, Strategy, Ethics, and Presentation Skills, he is a consultant, entrepreneur, writer, and keynote speaker.

Click HERE to view a video of Brandon and his teaching.



Julie Pentz, Professor of Dance




Julie's contributions to the field have traveled in the international dance community with guest teaching and performance appearances at the Theatro Libero in Rome, Italy, Taiwan, Chinese Cultural University, National Taiwan University of the Arts, Tsoying Performing Arts, Koahsiung Performing Arts, the Interdansa in Banyoles-Girona, Spain, Ghana Africa, and Kuwait. She has performed with The National Tap Ensemble and with master tap teachers Gregory Hines and Savion Glover. Julie holds a BFA in Dance Education from Shenandoah Conservatory and an MFA from the University of Arizona.

Click HERE to view a video on Julie and her teaching.



Kodee Walls, Assistant Director of Training at Counseling Services




I'm Kodee Walls and the Assistant Director of Training at Counseling Services. As a therapist, I enjoy the opportunity to engage with students and become a catalyst for change in their lives. Collaborating with my clients gives me great satisfaction because I'm empowering them to cultivate resilience in the face of adversity. As a Training Director, I relish the opportunity to foster the metacompetence, self-assessment, and self-reflection essential for competence in clinical work. I also teach the online Stress Management course (EDCEP 502), which helps flex my technological pedagogical skills. Reaching students via Global campus truly makes the world feel personally accessible.

Click HERE to view a video on Kodee and her teaching.



Kevin Sauer, Associate Professor of Food, Nutrition, Dietetics, and Health


kevin sa


“Teaching is - people-centered, customer-focused, about a shared academic experience that is not only memorable, but that is also useful throughout life. I refer to this aspiration as my Lifetime Teaching Warranty. I care deeply about providing on-campus and on-line student customers with the necessary and current technical knowledge, but just as much about their professional growth, continual self-improvement, and especially, their motivation to teach and develop others. I really can’t imagine not have the opportunity to teach, and regardless of the course, class size, or the subject matter - one of the best things we can do for K-State students is to make sure that they understand our passion for teaching.” -- Kevin Sauer (Associate Professor, Department of Food, Nutrition, Dietetics, and Health)

Click HERE to view a video on Kevin and his teaching.


Tara Coleman, Associate Professor for K-State Libraries



“My name is Tara Coleman. I am an Associate Professor for K-State Libraries. When I’m not helping patrons at the reference desk, I coordinator of the Libraries’ Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies and chair the K-State Book Network (KSBN), the university’s common reading program.

I love working with students and strive to make finding information and learning new things an engaging activity that will lead to lifelong learning. Youth advocacy and first year student success is important to me and I try to use my experience and knowledge to create a space that will help students thrive.” -- Tara Coleman (Associate Professor, K-State Libraries)

Click HERE to view a video on Tara and his teaching.


Tamara Bauer, Instructor of Leadership Studies


tamara highlighted teacher


My name is Tamara Bauer and I am an instructor at the Staley School of Leadership Studies. I love that every day I have an opportunity to partner with students in powerful ways to engage in the process of learning. Designing curriculum and learning opportunities that engage students in the process of learning is my passion…and seeing it come to life in the classroom is such a gift! This fall I am teaching LEAD 212: Introduction to Leadership Concepts and work with over 700 students (mostly first-year) and 50 Class Leaders. I also teach a CAT Community class called “First in the Family” for first-generation students.

In addition to working with students, I enjoy facilitating leadership development with varied stakeholders from community organizations, to businesses, all the way to Ghana. On campus I am involved with the Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellows, the New Faculty Institute, Wildcat Dialogues, and Cats’ Cupboard advisory board.

Click HERE to view a video on Tamara and his teaching.


Mariya Vaughan, Assistant Director of K-State First



My name is Mariya Vaughan, and I am the assistant director of K-State First. K-State has been my home since 2004, when I began my bachelor's degree in graphic design, and then went on to earn my master's degree in English and women's studies. working as a GTA, I unexpectedly found a love and passion for teaching that has shaped my career ever since. I began working for K-State First in 2014, where I manage the program’s daily operations, coordinate GPS mentoring, lead communications, marketing, and recruitment efforts, and work closely with students as a teacher, mentor, and advisor. I teach the Fiction into Film First-Year Seminar and the Muggle Studies: How Harry Potter Shaped the World CAT Community and leverage my own and my students’ love of all things nerdy to foster an engaging and collaborative learning environment. (Click HERE to learn more about Mariya)


Kevin Wanklyn, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering




My name is Kevin Wanklyn and I am a Teaching Associate Professor in the Alan Levin Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering. I also serve as the Undergraduate Program Director for the department as well as both an academic and creative inquiry team advisor. I earned all my degrees from K-State, so I feel a strong connection to the students in my classes. I strive each day to create an academic experience that is challenging yet fair, rigorous yet fun, and professional yet personal. In my view, that is the K-State Way.

Click here to view Dr. Wanklyn video where he talks about his teaching strategy at K-State