Cox Named Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher
The award recognizes excellence in graduate student teaching.
The School of Public Health and Health Sciences (SPHHS) is pleased to announce that Melanna Cox, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Kinesiology, has been selected as the recipient of the 2022-2023 SPHHS Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award. The award recognizes excellence in graduate student teaching.
The selection committee noted that the student nominations made it clear that Cox’s skill in teaching is consistently noticed and appreciated. Students praised her “clarity, ability to re-explain concepts, willingness to work with disability services, and patience in working with students until they understood important concepts.” They described Cox’s classes as engaging and entertaining, and they praised her ability to make them feel seen and heard.
“This award is special because – like many academics – I have often questioned my teaching abilities and my belonging in the classroom as an instructor,” says Cox. “The fact that students took the time to recognize me in this way saved me from that self-doubting part of myself. I am forever grateful for that.”
Over the past year, Cox served as an instructor for KIN 440: Physical Activity and Disease and KIN 110 Honors: Human Performance and Nutrition.
“I believe an effective learning environment focuses on the learning process by encouraging students to understand themselves as learners and affirming their effort to learn,” says Cox. “I hope my students learn two things. First, I hope they have compassion for the learner they are rather than letting the world convince them that they are deficient because they may learn differently. Secondly, I want them to know that they belong in any room they want to be in no matter the color of their skin, their gender identity, religious background, or anything else that makes them who they are.”