June 11, 2018
Kansas State Polytechnic's Marchbanks Award presented to Siny Joseph
Siny Joseph, an associate professor of economics in the School of Integrated Studies at Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus, is the winner of the 2018 Marchbanks Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence.
The award, established more than 30 years ago, annually recognizes a Kansas State Polytechnic faculty member's commitment in the classroom, service to students and overall merit as a teacher.
Joseph teaches courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level, from Introductory Micro and Macroeconomics to the statistics module of the Informatics and Technology Management graduate course.
"I am humbled by the endorsement of faculty and students of my efforts and dedication to teaching through this award," Joseph said. "It is very gratifying to be recognized for teaching economics even though it is only a general education course at Kansas State Polytechnic and not part of a specific complete program in an economics-related area."
As a teacher, Joseph said her goal is getting students to analyze situations and information, and communicate their insights better to meet emerging challenges of society. She said many real-life situations can be formulated as a problem to be solved by applying general principles learned in class.
"I use case studies and news articles to connect economic theory to world and domestic events to support their understanding," Joseph said. "My exams typically contain open-ended questions that require students to put themselves in a certain position and describe how they would respond. This makes them think about the course material and develop critical analysis skills that can be applied to a variety of situations."
Joseph, who joined Kansas State Polytechnic in 2012 as an assistant professor, credits her participation in the university's Peer Review of Teaching program in the early years of her career for helping her become a better teacher. The experience also led to Joseph and colleagues at Kansas State Polytechnic to develop a campuswide interdisciplinary teaching initiative called Quest, and to seek a Big 12 Faculty Fellowship to learn from successful faculty teaching exchange programs at other Big 12 institutions.
Joseph has published and presented both in discipline-specific and teaching-related journals and conferences. She also has been invited to participate in National Science Foundation-funded outreach planning meetings to disseminate team-based learning in economics. Joseph will use a fall 2018 sabbatical to focus on her research projects.
Born in southern India, Joseph grew up living and moving around every two years across multiple states in India because her father was an officer in the Indian army. She completed a bachelor's degree in engineering and master's in business administration in India. She also earned a master's degree and doctorate in resource economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.