Twishime Receives Graduate Student Distinguished Teaching Award
Porntip (Ploy) Israsena Twishime, communication, is one of two UMass Amherst graduate students to receive the 2022-23 Distinguished Teaching Award. The award, presented by the UMass Center for Teaching and Learning, honors instructors who demonstrate exemplary teaching at the highest institutional level. This highly competitive and prestigious campus-wide honor is the only student-initiated award on campus.
Twishime is a doctoral student in communication and has taught introductory and upper-level courses. Her teaching centers on the power of stories and storytelling in both unpacking dominant narratives around race, class, gender and sexuality and creating space to imagine more just futures. She approaches her students as “fellow intellectuals who bring various experiences, histories, perspectives, and motivations to the classroom.” In this way, she centers collaborative learning that invites students to share their experiences and take responsibility for each other’s learning. As one student shared, “She knew that to truly understand the concepts she wanted us to learn from, we needed to learn from others, whether it be her or the other students.” In particular, many students noted that in her upper-level seminar, Stories of Race, Twishime created productive and safe opportunities for students to learn from one another in discussions but also in one-on-one conversations. As one student shared, “These productive conversations about an often uncomfortable and complex topic helped me better understand my peers, myself and the world around me.”
A version of this article originally appeared on UMass Amherst News & Events.