In the field of higher education research, there are two awards that rise above the rest. Anna Neumann will soon hold both.
Next week, Neumann, Professor of Higher Education, will be formally presented with the 2019 Research Achievement Award of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) at the organization’s annual conference, held this year in Portland, Oregon.
The award cites Neumann as a “nationally recognized expert in qualitative research methods and teaching of research methods to doctoral students and novice faculty members.”
In 2010, Division J of the American Educational Research Association similarly honored Neumann with its Exemplary Research Award for her advancement of higher and postsecondary education.
Neumann was nominated for the ASHE award by fellow higher education researchers at the University of Southern California, Michigan State University and other institutions. Calling the recognition “long overdue,” the group singled out Neumann as “a pioneer in the study of teaching in higher education.”
Professor Neumann’s research is the only body of work on teaching that is guided by a framework that combines the theories of pedagogical content knowledge with theories that are essential to understanding the learning experience of first-generation students from racial and ethnic groups that have not met with equitable educational outcomes in our higher education system.
—Nomination for the ASHE award
“Professor Neumann’s research is the only body of work on teaching that is guided by a framework that combines the theories of pedagogical content knowledge with theories that are essential to understanding the learning experience of first-generation students from racial and ethnic groups that have not met with equitable educational outcomes in our higher education system,” the nominators said.
Neumann’s work, they wrote, is further distinguished by its focus “on instructors and how they practice the teaching of disciplinary content knowledge. Her approach is of great value because in higher education, unlike in K-12 research, teaching is understudied… [her] research provides the foundation for understanding student success as an outcome of ‘good teaching.’”
Calling the ASHE award a “complete surprise,” Neumann said she works to “re-anchor the study of higher education in the educating activities that comprise the ‘heart of the enterprise.’” She reaffirmed her commitment to “making high-quality college teaching and learning available to all American populations, particularly those that have historically been underrepresented on our campuses.”
Neumann is herself a past president of ASHE, as well as an AERA Fellow and a member of the National Academy of Education. She is founding director of The Metropolitan Colleges Institute for Teaching Improvement (MetroCITI), which seeks to improve and enrich teaching in the general/liberal education curricula of high-diversity colleges and universities throughout the New York metropolitan area. At TC she has served as director of the Program in Higher and Postsecondary Education, chair of the Department of Organization and Leadership, and chair of the College’s Faculty Development and Advisory Committee.
Neumann’s books include Professing to Learn: Creating Tenured Lives and Careers in the American Research University (Johns Hopkins University Press 2009) and Convergent Teaching: Tools to Spark Deeper Learning in College, co-authored with Aaron Pallas, TC’s Arthur I. Gates Professor of Sociology & Education, which JHU Press will bring out in early December.