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Chrissy Wiederwohl Awarded Provost Teaching Excellence Award

The Texas A&M Oceanography professor was awarded the 2022 Provost Academic Track Faculty Teaching Excellence Award by the Center for Teaching Excellence.

May 2, 2022

Instructional Associate Professor and Assistant Department Head for Engagement and Graduate Affairs Dr. Chrissy Wiederwohl has taught many lectures and labs over the course of her career at Texas A&M’s Department of Oceanography, along with the many other projects and programs supporting oceanography students.

She was recently awarded the 2022 Provost Academic Track Faculty Teaching Excellence Award by the Center for Teaching Excellence for her tremendous efforts in undergraduate and graduate education. The award recognizes Wiederwohl’s excellence in teaching, mentoring, and leadership at Texas A&M, and in the field of Oceanography. Previously honored with three different college level awards, this is the first university level award for Wiederwohl. She was nominated for this award by Dr. Jason Sylvan and Dr. Kathryn Shamberger.

“Dr. Wiederwohl embodies the Provost Academic Professional Track Teaching Excellence Award as a talented and visionary educator who is constantly working to enhance the learning experience for Texas A&M students at all levels,” Shamberger said. “Dr. Wiederwohl's exceptional teaching occurs in the classroom and far beyond, including in laboratories, on research vessels, through career development, student and faculty mentoring, and leadership at Texas A&M.”

Among Wiederwohl’s course offerings are multiple undergraduate and graduate lectures and labs. Her sections of the required introductory lecture and lab for incoming oceanography major freshmen, and Oceanographic Field and Lab Methods include research cruises for students to learn and experience oceanographic concepts firsthand.

“Oceanography has some of the best students at Texas A&M.  From undergraduate to graduate students, they are an amazing group of individuals, and they make my job fun,” Wiederwohl said. “It is so inspiring when your passion for the topics you teach aligns with eager and engaged students. It makes the job so rewarding.”

In addition to her teaching duties, Wiederwohl boasts a litany of other activities in mentoring and outreach. From at-sea field trips for underserved and underrepresented high school and middle school students, to oceanography camps for elementary students, her influence reaches far beyond the Texas A&M campus.

“Dr. Wiederwohl is one of the most talented educators I know and truly deserving of this award,” said Texas A&M Oceanography department head and professor, Dr. Shari Yvon-Lewis. “She is deeply involved with all aspects of education and innovative in her approaches to making learning accessible. I always enjoy hearing the students talk about her enthusiasm and engagement.”

“It's great to see Dr. Wiederwohl acknowledged for her tireless efforts,” Sylvan said. “She is involved with so many aspects of our undergraduate and graduate programs that it's difficult to imagine what oceanography at Texas A&M would look like without her. The experience of all oceanography students is overwhelmingly and positively impacted by Dr. Wiederwohl's work.”

Generations of oceanography undergraduate and graduate students have benefited from Wiederwohl’s tremendous service to the department.

"Her instructional style, service, and mentorship comprise a unifying legend, commonly discussed amongst oceanography undergraduates,” said Dylan Halbeisen, former Texas A&M undergraduate student. “On behalf of students both past and present, ‘Dr. Wiederwohl is indispensable.’ She summons excellence from the classroom, zoom room, and stern deck, emblazing and ensuring the luminosity of cohorts and colleagues, alike."

"I have learned a lot from Dr. Wiederwohl over the years, and I will continue to use what I have learned from her throughout my career in academia,” said Alyssa Alsante, current Texas A&M Oceanography Ph.D. student. “She continues to improve and evolve her teaching practices while also creating a positive and engaging learning environment for everyone, and I hope to carry that on to all my students in classes that I teach."

"Overall, Dr. Wiederwohl’s work in the multidimensional aspects of her APT appointment is
impressive, impactful, rigorous, and empathetic,” said Dr. Christian Brannstrom, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in Texas A&M’s College of Geosciences. “Chrissy is focused on student learning and success, empathetic with student concerns, driven by evidence-based practices, and constantly seeking professional development opportunities."

As Assistant Department Head for Engagement and Graduate Affairs, and chair of the Recruiting and Admissions Committee, Wiederwohl also ensures that oceanography graduate programs are on the cutting edge and is constantly working to improve diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice within the geosciences. She also serves as the faculty advisor for all oceanography professional masters students. She co-developed and co-runs the department’s Graduate Learning Community (GLC), a professional development workshop series that is required for all first-year thesis-based graduate students. Further, Dr. Wiederwohl supervises all Oceanography graduate teaching assistants, providing invaluable training, mentoring, and feedback.

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