McAllister named recipient of Graduate Faculty Teaching Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Matthew McAllister, professor of media studies in the College of Communications, has received the 2014 Graduate Faculty Teaching Award.

The award, established in 1992 by The Graduate School, is presented to faculty members in recognition of outstanding teaching performance and advising of graduate students.

During his 10 years at Penn State, McAllister has taught a range of graduate-level courses, including core courses, colloquium and special-topics courses. “Many of our top doctoral applicants over the past few years have been drawn to the program by Dr. McAllister’s work, and they seek to take his classes as soon as they arrive,” one nominator said. McAllister’s student ratings in graduate-level courses have averaged 6.34 for “quality of course” and 6.72 for “quality of instruction” on a seven-point scale.

One former student said about McAllister, “He achieved a rare balance: The classroom discussion was open enough to allow each student to share and develop his or her understanding of the material; however, Dr. McAllister always had that incisive knack for guiding the discussion or interjecting with expert analysis, when necessary.”

McAllister has advised or co-advised seven doctoral candidates and served on doctoral committees for 16 more. In addition to official advising, he said, “All of my classes also involve a strong degree of mentorship.”

A former student said, “His unwavering support, enthusiasm and dedication to my project kept me motivated during the hardest semester of my graduate school career, one where I applied to 60-plus jobs (and interviewed with six schools), was prepping and teaching a new undergraduate course and simultaneously writing a lengthy dissertation.”

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Last Updated March 20, 2014