John Hill receives IST’s McMurtry Award

John Hill, lecturer in information sciences and technology (IST), has been named the recipient of the College of IST’s 2013-14 McMurtry Award.

Established by IST in 2002, the McMurtry Award is given annually to an IST faculty member who demonstrates innovative teaching, commitment to student learning and creative interaction with students. The award is funded by George McMurtry, one of the founders of the College of IST and former associate dean of the College of Engineering.

Hill, who is known for his approachability and for developing close relationships with his students, brings a wealth of knowledge to IST from his extensive industry background and deep understanding of technical policies and procedures.

Hill “delights, educates, and challenges his students in courses that are accompanied by his witty observations and experience-based insights. His courses are challenging but fun and always involve opportunities for students to apply their learning in realistic exercises,” reads the announcement from the 2013-14 McMurtry Award.

In 2013-14, Hill taught IST 302, IST 420, IST 421 and IST 440W. He received above-average SRTE scores, particularly on IST 302, a course of 113 students. “Countless students come to me for advice on topics ranging from choosing an employer to personal matters. It seems I'm someone they can freely talk to, and who provides meaningful guidance,” he said.

Faculty eligible to receive the McMurtry Award are IST tenure track or fixed-term who teach any undergraduate course in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at University Park campus.

The IST Awards Committee selects the McMurtry Award winner based on the faculty member’s use of innovative teaching techniques, from developing new courses to crafting problems and exercises that promote learning and approach pedagogy in a new light. Faculty who effectively incorporate team-based problem solving for the class, oral and written skill development, active approaches to learning and online experiences to enhance their teaching are given special consideration.

As part of his award, Hill received a cash sum of $500 and an additional $500 through the “Learning Excellence Fund” for learning-enhancement initiatives such as software purchases, student assistance and classroom materials. His name will be affixed as a permanent part of the award plaque displayed in the IST Building, and he will be invited to present a lecture to the IST community this fall.

Last Updated August 06, 2014