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Cornell University

Menschel Distinguished Teaching Fellows


The Menschel Distinguished Teaching Fellowship is awarded by the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education in partnership with the Center for Teaching Innovation. Recipients of the fellowship are faculty members with a distinguished record in scholarship, research, and teaching who are interested in developing and promoting strong pedagogy across the Cornell campus.

During their year-long fellowship, recipients develop a project that adds significantly to campus engagement with teaching. Example fellowship projects include designing programs to develop teaching practices, translating these practices across fields, and providing structures to create ongoing collaboration among existing pedagogy across Cornell. The Menschel Distinguished Teaching Fellowship enhances communication between faculty and the Center for Teaching Innovation.

Menschel Distinguished Teaching Fellow

Kelly Zamudio

Kelly Zamudio

Goldwin-Smith Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
2018-2019 Menschel Distinguished Teaching Fellow

Kelly Zamudio has taught in Cornell Universityís Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department since 1999, focusing on the population genetics and diversification of reptiles and amphibians, as well as the study of wildlife diseases. In 2013, she became the Goldwin-Smith Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Dr. Zamudio teaches courses in Herpetology, Field Ecology, and Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity. She was an NSF Program Director in Systematics and Biodiversity from 2014 to 2015.

Her goal as a Menschel Distinguished Teaching Fellow is to promote active learning classrooms. Based on research in her own classroom, she tested how increasing activities in the classroom increased student involvement and learning retention. Her goal is to create a learning experience that was also backed with evidence-based strategies to connect the students with the material. She has incorporated hands-on activities in the class, such as frequent student-student and student-instructor interactions, small discussion groups, partner sharing, and the use of technology to enhance learning. The information from traditional lectures are presented in videos, readings, online exercises and quizzes in advance of class, thus freeing up class time for students to share and apply the concepts they have learned.

Previous Menschel Distinguished Teaching Fellows

Jed Sparks

Jed Sparks

Professor in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
2016-2017 Menschel Distinguished Teaching Fellow

Jed Sparks, professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology since 2001, teaches courses in Ecology with a focus on the impacts of ecosystem processes on plant and animal physiology. He is also the director of the Cornell Isotope Laboratory (COIL) that explores the application of stable isotopes to questions in ecology, physiology, ecosystem science and forensics. Jed received the Faculty Early Career Development program grant from the National Science Foundation in 2003. From 2008-2015, Jed served as the Hays and James M. Clark Director of Undergraduate Biology.

His primary goal as a Menschel Distinguished Teaching Fellow is to reinvigorate field and laboratory teaching at Cornell including developing a handbook for field teaching that will be available to all faculty. He is a member of the Ecological Society of America; American Association for the Advancement of Science; and the American Geophysical Union. He also serves on the editorial boards of Plant Biology and Global Change Biology. In addition, he has served as a Co-PI for the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CU-CIRTL). Some of his accomplishments include: Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research Fellowship for biology (1992), Biosphere Atmosphere Research Training Fellowship, National Science Foundation (1998), and Atmospheric Chemistry Division Visiting Fellowship to the National Center for Atmospheric Research (2002). Professor Sparks earned his doctorate in botany in 1998 from Washington State University. He also holds a B.S. from the University of Utah.

Sheryl Kimes

Sheryl Kimes

Professor in Services Operations Management, School of Hotel Administration
2014-2015 Menschel Distinguished Teaching Fellow

Sheryl E. Kimes, professor of operations management in the School of Hotel Administration since 1988, teaches courses in revenue management and service operations management. “Sherri,” as she is known at Cornell, has been named as the School of Hotel Administration Graduate Teacher of the Year three times. In 2012 she received a Career Advisor Award as well as the Ted Teng ’79 Dean’s Teaching Award. From 2005-2006, she served as interim dean of the Hotel School, and from 2001-2005, she served as the school’s director of graduate studies. Her research interests include revenue management and forecasting in the restaurant, hotel, and golf industries. A widely published author, she has served as a consultant to many hospitality enterprises around the world. Her professional awards include the Lifetime Achievement Award by the College of Service Operations of the Production and Operations Management Society in 2010 and the Industry Relevance Award by the Cornell University Center for Hospitality Research in 2010, 2012, and 2014. Professor Kimes earned her doctorate in operations management in 1987 from the University of Texas at Austin. She also holds an M.B.A. from New Mexico State University; an M.A.P.A. from the University of Virginia; and an A.B. from the University of Missouri.

Ron Harris-Warrick

William T. Keeton Professor in Biological Sciences, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior; Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow
Fall 2013, 2010-2011 Menschel Distinguished Teaching Fellow

Ron Harris-Warrick has been a faculty member of the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell since 1980. Ron teaches an undergraduate neuropharmacology course, “Drugs and the Brain,” which focuses on the neural mechanisms by which psychoactive drugs alter consciousness. He also co-teaches Cornell’s introductory neuroscience course, and leads undergraduate and graduate seminars in topics such as the neurobiology of schizophrenia and the structure and function of ion channels. He has received numerous teaching awards at Cornell, including the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Edgerton Career Teaching Award. He is a Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow and was Cornell’s first Menschel Distinguished Teaching Fellow. During his inaugural tenure as Menschel Fellow, Ron worked with CTI staff to develop the Cornell Teaching Partnership Program, which pairs new faculty with experienced faculty mentors. His NIH-sponsored research focuses on neuronal mechanisms for behavioral flexibility using the locomotor networks in the mouse spinal cord as a model system, and the consequences of spinal cord injury on locomotor network function. He received his B.A. in biological sciences and Ph.D. in genetics at Stanford University, followed by postdoctoral fellowships at Stanford Medical School and Harvard Medical School.

Cornell Chronicle: Ron Harris-Warrick Named Cornell's First Menschel Distinguished Teaching Fellow

George Hudler

Professor in Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology; Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow
Spring 2014, 2012-2013 Menschel Distinguished Teaching Fellow

George Hudler holds a B.S. degree in forest management and an M.S. degree in plant pathology from the University of Minnesota. He was awarded a Ph.D. from Colorado State University in 1976 and immediately thereafter joined the faculty at Cornell. He teaches two courses: Pathology of Trees and Shrubs, and Magical Mushrooms, Mischievous Molds. He also conducts active outreach and research programs in the area of tree pathology, including publication of a bi-weekly pest management newsletter, Branching Out. He has received numerous awards for his teaching and extension programs including, most recently, the Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow Award, the Menschel Distinguished Teaching Fellow, and the Edgerton Career Teaching Award. He was also named one of the top 300 teachers in the May 2012 rating published by the Princeton Review in collaboration with Dr. Hudler is the author of a book of the same title as his popular undergraduate course, Magical Mushrooms, Mischievous Molds. From 2004 – 2012, George was the director of the Northeast Regional Center for the National Plant Diagnostic Network and he continues to be actively involved in that endeavor. The network is a collaborative effort between the USDA, state land grant universities, and the Department of Homeland Security to sharpen our skills for detecting foreign pests and pathogens that might threaten American agriculture.

Cornell Chronicle: Award-Winning Teacher George Hudler is Menschel Fellow

David Feldshuh

Professor in Performing & Media Arts; Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow
2011-2012 Menschel Distinguished Teaching Fellow

David Feldshuh is a Phi Beta Kappa philosophy major of Dartmouth College. He completed his actor training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, studied mime with Jacques Lecoq, and joined the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, remaining there for seven years first as an actor and then as associate director. Subsequently, he completed a Ph.D. in theatre focusing on creativity and actor training. He then earned an M.D. degree and completed a residency in emergency medicine, a specialty he continues to practice. As a clinical instructor in emergency medicine, Dr. Feldshuh mentors visiting medical students from Weill Cornell Medical College. His theatrical career includes regional theatre and off-Broadway directing as well as opera and film. He is author of three published and widely produced plays, most notably, Miss Eversí Boys, for which he was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in drama. As an HBO movie, Miss Eversí Boys received twelve Emmy nominations, winning five including Best Picture and the Presidentís Award for television presentations exploring vital social issues. Dr. Feldshuh is the recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Award from the National Center for Bioethics. He has served as a professor of theatre at Cornell since 1984. His current research interest is theatre theory and practice applied to public speaking.

Cornell Chronicle: As new Menschel fellow, Feldshuh Plans to Apply Acting Course Techniques to Teacher Training
Ezra Magazine: David Feldshuh Explores the Value of Teaching as Performance

†† Cornell University