On the 3rd May, 2017, PI management, staff and faculty attended a ceremony to celebrate excellence in teaching and advising. The inaugural 'Teaching and Advising Awards Ceremony' was an opportunity for outstanding faculty and staff to be recognized by their students. Although PI has given similar awards in the past, this year's awards ceremony was remarkable, as it was the first time that the entire nomination process was driven by the students themselves. In all, 38 faculty were nominated by their students for the awards, of whom 26 completed the subsequent application process.
Nominations for four awards were opened in February and students were invited through a specially designed online portal to nominate faculty, lab technicians and advisors who they felt had made an impact on their PI life over the previous 12 months. The Dean of College of Arts and Sciences Award and the Dean of the College of Engineering Teaching Award focused on excellence in the classroom for faculty in the two respective departments while the Provost's Advising Award for Faculty was open to faculty across the PI. The final award was the Provost's Teaching Award for Teaching Associates, Lab Engineers & Technicians.
The ceremony included a speech from Dr. Ali Almansoori, Coordinator of the President's Duties, who recognized and congratulated the nominated faculty. In his speech, Dr. Almansoori highlighted the important role that dedicated faculty, advisors and staff play in the ultimate success of the PI and its students.
Dr. Almansoori highlighted the importance of students leading the nomination process. "For these awards to have true meaning, it must come from the students. Throughout this whole process, from the organizing committee, to the nominations, to the event itself, it has been influenced by the students. This truly makes it a worthwhile event and I would like to congratulate all winners and nominees."
As part of the student-led initiative, the PI Model United Nations Club performed a small mock United Nations session, which featured light humor, a debate on which major program is the best, , and a lively discussion on what makes a good teacher. During this segment, the students also recognized PI's lab engineers and technicians by reading from student testimonials collected during the nomination week earlier in the semester.
The winners in each category were:
The Dean of College and Arts & Sciences Award
Dr. Mutasem Sinnokrot
Assistant Professor, Chemistry - Arts & Sciences
The Dean of the College of Engineering Teaching Award
Dr. Firas Salah Jarrar
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering – College of Engineering
The Provost Advising Award for Faculty
Dr. Waleed Alameri
Director of Freshman Year Experience Program
The Provost Teaching Award for Teaching Associates, Lab Engineers & Technicians
Dr. Abukari Iddris
Laboratory Engineer, Petroleum Engineering – College of Engineering
Each winner was congratulated on stage by Dr. Almansoori before giving a short speech. The winners each reflected on what the awards meant to them and how they planned to give even more to the PI in the coming years. The winners received gifts of appreciation, and all nominees were given certificates acknowledging their nomination. The names of the winners of this inaugural event, and those of future teaching and advising awards, will be displayed on notice boards in the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching and in the Student Success Department.