Congratulations to Dr. Masoud Kaveh Baghbadorani! He is the recipient of the General Education Distinguished Teacher Award for 2023. Dr. Kaveh Baghbadorani is a Condensed Matter Physicist who received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Cincinnati and joined JMU in 2016. He has taught over 2000 dukes!  

Dr. Kaveh teaches six different lecture and laboratory classes in the General Education Program’s Cluster 3 (The Natural World), including the class we observed, ISCI 172: Physical Science for Teachers. Dr. Kaveh focuses his pedagogy on student motivation and deep learning, employing evidence-based, modern teaching methods such as Peer Instruction and Live Interactive Lecture Demonstrations to augment the student’s understanding of foundational physics principles and critical analysis of topics covered in the course. To create an environment that fosters learning, Dr. Kaveh encourages and expects students to actively participate in class discussions, communicate with their neighbors about science principles, and ask questions. This level of interactivity and peer-based learning exemplifies one of the goals of general education, which is to have students “transcend the limits of specialization” and “become skilled in questioning, investigating, analyzing, evaluating, and communicating.”   

The committee members who observed Dr. Kaveh’s class were very impressed by his ability to demystify the technical topic of electricity and electrical charge by effective use of analogies, personal stories, jokes and videos that were intermixed with a highly didactic and understandable presentation of these physical principles. It was very engaging and a consummate exhibition of pedagogy, amplified by the uproar of student excitement when Dr. Kaveh tasked the students to turn to a partner and explain their beliefs to a neighbor. All of them were clearly invested in the discussion, deeply engaged with the science, excited to learn, and enthusiastic about sharing their point of view.    

Dr. Kaveh Baghbadorani will be the keynote speaker at the General Education Student Conference banquet in Fall 2023. 

He is the nineteenth recipient of this award, which was established by the Provost’s Office in 2004. Previous Distinguished Teacher Award recipients are: Craig Abrahamson (2004); Carol A. Hurney (2005); Lynn S. Fichter (2006); Jeffrey T. Andre (2007); Michael A. Moghtader (2008); Kit Murphy (2009); John Ott (2010); Carole Nash (2011); Amanda Biesecker (2012); Kristin St. John (2013); David Daniel (2014); Deb Warnaar (2015); Kathleen Ferriaolo (2016); Geary Albright (2017); Claire Lyons (2018), Kimberly DuVall (2019), Michael Trocchia (2020), and Graceful Pivots (2021), and Chris Bachmann (2022).

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