Faculty receive Bingham Awards for teaching excellence, promotions, professorships
The outstanding classroom teaching of two Transylvania professors has been recognized with Bingham Awards for Excellence in Teaching. Computer science professor Kenny Moorman ’91 and history professor Melissa McEuen received the awards, which are accompanied by annual salary supplements for five years. A committee of outside educators selects Bingham Award winners based on classroom visits, essays submitted by candidates, and student evaluations.
Moorman came to Transylvania in 2003 after teaching at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he earned a Ph.D. in computer science with a focus on artificial intelligence in 1997. His research interests include computer modeling of the human auditory system and small scale swarm robotics.
He said his primary goal as a teacher is to support the liberal arts, which involves teaching students how to be critical thinkers through a multidisciplinary approach.
“Computer science has always benefited from problem-based learning that our field naturally supports,” he said. “The true benefit of projects comes from the failures encountered along the way to the eventual successes. I tell my students there are usually hundreds of right ways to finish a project—they need to find the set that works for them.”
McEuen came to Transylvania in 1995 after teaching at Georgetown College. She earned a Ph.D. in history from Louisiana State University in 1991, and her research interests include American women in the 20th century and the American South.
As a professor of U.S. history, she challenges her students to confront an American past “full of secrets, complications, gray areas, and intricately woven patterns.”
“I want to help students see things from different vantage points, to seek a range of explanations for historical phenomena and, particularly, to tolerate ambiguity,” she said.
Promotion to full professor was granted to history professor Frank Russell. Previously a classics professor at Dartmouth College, Russell joined the Transylvania faculty in 1999. He holds a Ph.D. in classics from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Chemistry professor Eva Csuhai has been selected for a Moosnick Professorship, an honor granted to teachers who best emulate former chemistry professor Monroe Moosnick’s commitment to teaching, life-long learning, and service to students. Two professors in the natural sciences hold these four-year awards, which include annual salary supplements. Chemistry professor Alan Goren currently holds the second professorship.
Csuhai began teaching at Transylvania in 1998. She earned her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and has experimental expertise in synthetic, inorganic, and biochemistry of polyamines and structure and activities of peptidase enzymes.