Kennesaw State faculty receive Regents awards

KENNESAW, Ga. | Mar 1, 2017

Faculty will be formally recognized at the annual Regents’ Scholarship Gala in March

Hillary Steiner
Hillary Hettinger Steiner

Two Kennesaw State University professors have been recognized by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents with “Awards for Excellence in Teaching.

Hillary Hettinger Steiner, associate professor of educational psychology in the Department of First-Year and Transition Studies, received one of two Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) awards; and Anissa Lokey Vega, associate professor of Instructional Technology, received a Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award for Online Teaching for the University System of Georgia. The review committee voted unanimously in favor of each award winner.

The Board of Regents awards program recognizes and rewards both individual faculty members and academic programs. Recipients are selected from nominations submitted annually by the presidents of the University System.

Anissa Vega

Anissa Lokey Vega

The Teaching Excellence Award honors outstanding teaching that significantly improves student achievement, while the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award honors commitment to student-focused research on effective teaching.

The awards committee was impressed with Vega’s commitment to ensure quality in online education.

“(The committee) felt that your work in both credit and non-credit courses (MOOCs) is remarkable, and appreciated your narrative about how you became passionate about teaching,” Vega’s award letter states.

According to Steiner’s award letter, she was recognized for her efforts to embed SoTL into her teaching, research and professional service commitments.

“Also noted was your dedication to encourage and support SoTL research at the local, state and national levels through mentoring, presentations, workshops, publications and an online course,” the award letter states. “The fact that your impact reaches far beyond your university helps establish you as a leader in the SoTL movement.”

Each of the award winners will receive $5,000 and a certificate of achievement. The individual honorees will receive their awards at the Regents’ Scholarship Gala at the St. Regis Hotel in Atlanta on March 31.

The Scholarship Gala raises money to promote, support and provide need-based scholarships for students at the University System of Georgia’s 28 institutions.

Previous Kennesaw State professors receiving top teaching honors include Margaret Baldwin, senior lecturer, theatre and performance studies (2016); Vanessa Slinger-Friedman, associate professor of geography (2016); psychology professor Pam Marek (2014); Tom Pusateri, associate director of Kennesaw State’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) and a professor of psychology (2011); Sabine Smith, associate professor of German (2011); Karen Robinson, theater and performance studies (2010); Matthew Laposata, environmental science (2009); Mary Garner, mathematics and math education (2008); and Randolph Smith, psychology (2007).

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 43,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit