Congratulations to Dr. Martin Cohen! He is the recipient of the General Education Distinguished Teacher Award for 2024. Dr. Cohen is a Political Scientist who received his Ph.D.  from UCLA and has taught POSC 225 for the General Education Program at JMU since 2007.


View Previous Award Winners


Our program, General Education: The Human Community, is proud of the accomplishments and commitments of faculty who support the core curriculum of the university. Each year, in recognition of superlative achievement in the area of General Education teaching, the Program gives a Distinguished Teacher Award to one faculty member. 

Award Eligibility:

To be eligible for this award faculty must have taught at least one course in the General Education Program in the 2024-2025 academic year, be currently employed at JMU teaching undergraduate students during the 2024-2025 academic year, and have taught in the General Education program at JMU for at least five years. Full-time and adjunct faculty are eligible. Adjunct faculty must have taught at least one JMU course per year for the past five years.

Award Criteria:

  • To help students master one or more of the relevant Area's (formerly 'Cluster') learning objectives, as appropriate to the course(s) taught. To review the learning objectives for each Area, see the Program Requirements.
  • To help students make interdisciplinary connections. Interdisciplinary connections are central to the goals of General Education: The Human Community.

Nomination Process:

Part 1. Nomination Letter

Nominations will be accepted from students, self-nomination, colleagues, department heads, and area coordinators. Nominations should be sent to Dr. Meg Mulrooney, Senior Associate Vice Provost,, with subject line GE Distinguished Teacher. Eligibility and nomination details follow. The nomination is a brief letter or email; letters of support are solicited later and include in the nominee's submission materials. Nominations must be received by September XX, 2024 (exact deadline TBD).

Part 2. Nominee Support Package

Upon receipt of a letter of nomination, the program staff will invite each nominee to submit supporting materials by October XX, 2024 (exact deadline TBD). If submitted, this Nominee Support Package must include the following:

  1. Cover letter (1 page).
  2. Full curriculum vitae.
  3. Letter of support from the nominee’s department head or director (1-2 pages) that addresses the candidate's abilities as a teacher in the General Education Program, particularly in light of the award criteria.
  4. Teaching statement (~4 pages) that explains how specific teaching practices address the award criteria and directly refers to evidence supplied in the appendices.
  5. Appendices:
    1. Other documents that you would like to submit as evidence to support your teaching statement (e.g., syllabi, example curriculum materials, assessment materials, examples of student work, student evaluations).

These supporting materials should be combined as a PDF Portfolio file and submitted by email to gened@jmu.eduThe deadline for the complete Nominee Support Package is October XX, 2024 (exact deadline TBD)

Award Selection Process:

The Award Selection Committee will evaluate all materials, observe finalists in the classroom, and select the award recipient. It is chaired by Martin Cohen, the 2024 General Education Distinguished Teacher award winner, and composed of teaching faculty from across all five Gen Ed areas. The recipient of this award will receive a $1,500 honorarium from the General Education Program, with support from the Provost’s Office. In permanent recognition, the recipient’s name will be added to a plaque displayed in the General Education office. The recipient will be invited to give the keynote address at the General Education Student Conference the following academic year.

Previous Winner Profiles:

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