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Please see the following message from Provost Dr. Amy Sands about the Leslie Eliason Excellence in Teaching Award.

From:              Amy Sands


Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

This year we have again received notification that funding to support the Leslie Eliason Excellence in Teaching Award has been given to the Institute by Karen and Christopher Payne, good friends of Professor Eliason. I am requesting nominations for this award from all of you.

The Leslie Eliason Excellence in Teaching Award is a prestigious Monterey Institute award that recognizes outstanding contributions as a classroom teacher by a faculty member of the Monterey Institute of International Studies. This award is especially meaningful to the Institute because it honors the memory of Professor Leslie Eliason, well recognized for her commitment to quality teaching and to her students and their education.

Regular faculty members from the MIIS community are eligible for consideration.  The faculty member, who is selected, will receive a $10K stipend and will be recognized in the spring at a special ceremony and reception.  The award must be used for professional development, such as conference registrations, fees, and travel; release time from classes for research or training purposes; or acquisition of materials for curriculum development or research.

The award will be announced in March 2009 and must be used by August 31, 2010, at which time a report summarizing the professional development and expenditures made will be due to the Community Foundation, the group overseeing the disbursement of these funds on behalf of the Payne family.  A short interim report will be due approximately one year after the award.  Faculty recipients of the Excellence in Teaching Award are not eligible to receive the award more than once in a four-year period.  (Previous winners are Professor Moyara Ruehsen, Professor Jackie Harmer, and Professor Jean Turner.)

The selection process for this award is as follows:

1) The Provost will request nominations from students, faculty, and staff of the MIIS community.
•    To nominate a faculty member, letters should be addressed to the Leslie Eliason Excellence in Teaching Committee and should explain why the nominee’s performance as a teacher merits the Excellence in Teaching Award.
•    Nomination letters should address specifically the award criteria outlined below and include examples from personal experience with the instructor. Nomination letters without such information will not be accepted.

2) The Provost will establish a Selection Committee consisting of 3 faculty, 3 students, and 1 staff member to be responsible for selecting the faculty member to receive this award.

3) The Committee will review the nominations and make their selections based on the award criteria outlined below.

4) Once the selection has been finalized and announced, a reception and ceremony will be scheduled in April to honor the recipient.

Award Criteria

The award recipient should:

•    Foster a sense of excitement in the classroom that stimulates the students’ learning process and creates a dynamic interactive learning space;
•    Inspire in students further pursuit of knowledge, especially relating to global issues/challenges;
•    Demonstrate up-to-date knowledge of his/her chosen area of expertise;
•    Enhance classroom discussion and interaction with the use of collaborative and innovative tools and pedagogy;
•    Be responsive to student needs, providing timely evaluation and feedback of student work;
•    Demonstrate intercultural competence and respect for all students;
•    Have a good rapport with students in and out of the classroom.

Timeline for Award Selection


The request for nominations is issued to students, faculty, and staff of the MIIS community.

The Provost will be responsible for forming the selection committee for the Leslie Eliason Excellence in Teaching Award.  Nominations will be due to the Provost by February 1, 2009.


At the beginning of February, nominees will be notified.  Each will be asked to accept or decline their nominations.  Faculty accepting their nomination will be required to submit a dossier for committee review.  The dossier must be submitted to the Provost by the end of February 2009 and consist of the following items:
•    Course syllabi;
•    Some sample materials used in their classes;
•    Student evaluations;
•    Curriculum Vitae;
•    At least one recommendation and one other reference, including contact information, who could comment on nominee’s teaching ability; and
•    Letter by the nominee explaining in detail how they would use the grant money if they receive the Excellence in Teaching Award.


The Selection Committee reads the dossiers, keeping in mind the strict confidentiality necessary because of the nature of faculty evaluations, nomination letters, and other information in the dossiers.

The last week of March, the committee meets after reading all of the dossiers and selects an award recipient based on the criteria for the award, nomination letters, and faculty dossiers.


The winner is notified by the Provost and a campus announcement is sent out to the students, faculty, and the President’s Office. The winner is honored at a reception and ceremony.

I look forward to seeing your nominations.


Dr. Amy Sands, Provost
Monterey Institute of International Studies
Monterey, CA 93940
email:  asands@miis.edu
telephone:  831 647-4102

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