2011-2012 Drazek Teaching Excellence Award Recipients

The Undergraduate School

Kate Bauer

Kate BaurKate Bauer began her career at UMUC in 2007 teaching mathematics; however, her path to a career could have followed a very different direction. As an undergraduate, she majored in astrophysics and worked summers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and in Yale University's Nuclear Physics Laboratory. An avid reader since childhood, she also pursued her doctorate in English literature. A stint teaching mathematics in New York City revealed her true calling and passion.

Bauer's success in the developmental mathematics classroom is based on several strategies, including showing care and empathy for all her students—especially those with math anxiety. She encourages students to write out their understanding of the troublesome concepts to find the exact point where they lose sight of the assignment. She then patiently encourages them to work their way to the answer of the problem. Her students frequently report their surprise in overcoming their fear of math and in finding more self confidence in their ability to learn challenging concepts.

Bauer continues to be a lifelong learner. She expands her skills and understanding of online education by participating in many online faculty development workshops. She also provides leadership to other mathematics faculty by serving as a course and final exam chair and facilitator of several faculty training sessions.

Bauer earned her PhD from New York University.

Michael Motes

Michael MotesMichael Motes has a long history with UMUC, beginning in 1994 when he taught accounting and business management for UMUC Asia in Okinawa. Four years after he retired from the U.S. Marine Corps with the rank of major, Motes returned to the United States and became a certified public accountant. Since then, he has continued to teach general and individual tax accounting on-site in Maryland and online.

Motes' teaching philosophy is grounded on the premise that every student can learn, and he is dedicated to maximizing the learning experience. Students have repeatedly noted his commitment to their success and praise him for clearly articulating expectations and realities in the accounting field. His creative use of technology—including the textbook-related interactive tools and short video chapter lectures—allows students to see immediate results when learning complex concepts. He also uses real-time Wimba Live class sessions to work through homework assignments once a week and archives them for students who are unable to attend. The timely feedback he provides on homework not only offers individual guidance but also gives general advice on common errors.

Outside the classroom, Motes shares his passion and enthusiasm for his discipline and for teaching through his support of UMUC colleagues by serving as a faculty peer mentor, course developer, course chair and conference presenter. He continues to refine his teaching skills through participation in several faculty development initiatives.

Motes earned his MA in business management from Central Michigan University.


The Graduate School

Daniel Grosse

Daniel GrosseDaniel Grosse began his career at UMUC in 2006 in the environmental management program. His class on the fundamentals of environmental systems attracts newly minted college graduates without much experience or knowledge of science, as well as seasoned environmental professionals. To reach both ends of this spectrum, Grosse teaches from the news so that both basic and advanced principles are covered and related to students' everyday life experiences. At the start of class, he also provides resources for students to review and brush up their knowledge of general and environmental chemistry as a foundation for future topics. The information may be technical, but his use of visual and auditory media—as well as humor—helps students to understand and see how the course material can be applied in life.

Grosse's commitment to UMUC extends beyond the classroom. He makes an alumni version of his class announcements available to former students and other faculty and administrators so that they too can receive information about job postings and current news. He also served as a participant in The Undergraduate School's initiative to develop a new undergraduate environmental chemistry course and to revise an existing one.

For these efforts and his consistent support of colleagues and students, Grosse is recognized as an example of professional teaching excellence.

Grosse earned his PhD in fisheries biology from the University of Washington.

Paula O'Callaghan

Paula O'CallaghanPaula O'Callaghan, known as "Prof O'C" by her students, has been a faculty member at UMUC since 2007. She teaches a broad array of courses in the MBA program. Her background as a manager, lawyer, teacher and academic researcher provides her with effective communication skills and teaching strategies that creatively engage her students and motivate them to learn beyond the classroom. Her students have also reported a greater sense of empowerment in their own lives and careers as a result of her teaching style and expertise.

O'Callaghan has demonstrated her commitment to excellence in the scholarship of teaching and learning through her research with UMUC colleagues on workplace legal issues, including social media in the workplace and employer limits on employee speech. She incorporates these research experiences and results into her teaching. She also has supported the needs of the graduate administration by participating in the AMBA 610 course revision project and in the 2011 Summer Faculty Leadership Institute, as well as by serving as a mentor to several new faculty members in the MBA and cybersecurity programs. She is active in student recruitment efforts, representing the MBA program in virtual open houses. Her passion for teaching and learning inspires not only her students but also her colleagues.

O'Callaghan earned her JD from Syracuse University.



Tom Ewing

Tom EwingTom Ewing joined UMUC Asia in 1993 and has taught in Korea, Japan and Singapore. He has also taught for UMUC Europe. He has experience in private business as the owner of a computer software company.

Ewing's teaching experience includes having been a faculty member at several different institutions, including Michigan State University, Alma College, Central Michigan University, Lansing Community College and Olympic College.

After earning his BS in philosophy from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tom Ewing returned to MIT to earn a second BS in physics. He went on to earn an MS in astronomy from University of California and a PhD in physics from Michigan State University.

Woo-Il Shim

Woo-Il ShimSince joining the UMUC Asia faculty in 2000, Woo-Il Shim has been teaching at military installations across South Korea. Prior to being selected in 2012, she was nominated for the Drazek Award several times. Shim was selected for a Teaching Recognition Award in 2011.

Shim holds certificates in Korean language teaching and pedagogy and has taught in several universities in Korea, as well as a Korean Language School in Canada and for UNESCO in Korea. She has specialized professional experiences in teaching Korean language in a head start program for U.S. soldiers. Her experience also includes conducting research at the Advanced Information Technology Research Center of Korea. She has published three books about linguistics and teaching the Korean language to foreigners.

Shim holds a BA in Korean language education and an MA in Korean linguistics, both from Sangmyung University. She is completing a PhD dissertation in Korean linguistics at Sungkyunkwan University.


UMUC Europe

Pauline J. Fry

Pauline FryPauline Fry has taught literature, writing, speech and bibliographical research since 1974. When Fry first began teaching with UMUC Europe, she traveled every eight to 16 weeks to different teaching assignments in U.S. military communities in Greece, Holland, Iran, Italy and Turkey. She taught in Korea and Japan for one year and afterwards began teaching in Italy.

Among the courses she teaches, Fry leads field study courses, leading her students through Italy and France in the footsteps of famous writers' works. Actively involved in the UMUC community, she serves as a field study peer, working with her colleagues to develop and plan new courses.

Fry earned an MAT concentrating on literature from Kent State University and a BA in English from the University of Oregon.

Molly Affleck

Molly AffleckMolly Affleck has 32 years of experience teaching German to UMUC Europe students. Finding joy in helping to shape the lives of her students, she guides them toward progress by building on positive experiences.

Crediting her high school teacher with sparking her interest, Affleck became passionate about learning German. After completing her graduate studies in Munich, she found the perfect opportunity at UMUC Europe to pursue her dream of teaching in higher education.

Since 1980, she has taught face-to-face courses in 14 cities throughout Germany, adding distance education courses in recent years. Innovative in the German program, she has developed many advanced courses online, and she serves as a faculty peer.

Affleck studied German at Whitman College and holds a Magister Artium in German literature from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.