As part of Faculty Appreciation Week earlier this month, two faculty members received special recognition 

In gratitude for their immense impact on students at Teachers College, faculty members Pam Koch and Debra Noumair each received the Teaching Award during the College’s annual Faculty Appreciation Week. Bestowed solely through a vote among students, the award received hundreds of nominations of faculty for the honor. 

“Words can't begin to express the honor and happiness this award has brought me,” says Koch, the Mary Swartz Rose Associate Professor of Nutrition Education. “Since I learn so much from my students, I am glad they feel supported by and learn from me. I know I speak for all of the faculty, we get great joy from teaching students who are the next generation.” 

The week-long community celebration of the College’s faculty included praise and recognition for numerous scholars across the entire College, with dozens of students and alumni submitting reflections on those who have made profound differences in their lives, careers and academic pursuits. 

“Our goal is to spotlight the TC community’s appreciation for the kindness, care and support that faculty members have offered our students, our staff and administration, and one other during these challenging times,” explains Marie Miville, Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professor of Psychology and Education. “We hope that these reflections from the community will inspire us all to be ever more mindful, caring, and supportive of one another.” 

The Teaching Award recipients were recognized during a special reception for faculty in recognition of their roles as teachers, advisors, and mentors on May 5. 

“This teaching award is deeply meaningful to me. My teaching philosophy is that learning is co-created among educator and students,” says Noumair, Professor of Psychology and Education. “My teaching is relentlessly intentional and I am vigilant about the process of learning -- that creates an environment where transformational learning can happen, and it does. I am honored that this award recognizes what my students and I create together.” 

At the College, Noumair is the Academic Program Director for Social-Organizational Psychology; and Founder and Director of the Executive Master of Arts Program in Change Leadership (XMA). In nominating Noumair, one of her former students described her as uniquely and fully embracing “each student, holding a space for growth that goes deeper than anyone would expect – or even hope for,” the student wrote. “It's clear that each of us who have been her student are not only more educated by being in her class, but we are also better people because of it.” 

Koch is the Faculty Director of the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, after serving as the Executive Director for numerous years. Koch “genuinely cares about the success of every student,” wrote one student in nominating her. “Her research has contributed, and continues to contribute, so much to the field of nutrition education…I aspire to be as caring, understanding, and successful as an educator as her one day.”

Honorable mentions for the TC Teaching Award include Stephanie McCall, a lecturer in Curriculum & Teaching; Jessica Riccio, a senior lecturer in Science Education; and Laila Abdel Salam, an adjunct faculty member in the Counseling and Clinical Psychology Department.