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Miami's Sigma Xi names outstanding educators

04/23/2010

The Miami University chapter of Sigma Xi recognized two outstanding educators at its annual banquet April 15. Donald Kaufman received the Miami University Sigma Xi Award for Outstanding Educator in Science, Math and Engineering and Paula Hogan received the Sigma Xi Award for Outstanding High School Science Teacher.

Kaufman, director of the Hefner Zoology Museum and professor emeritus of zoology, has more than 40 years of commitment to science education in areas including classroom teaching; service to local, state, and international environmental education organizations; creation of the GREEN Teachers Institute; and the establishment of the Center for Environmental Education at Miami University.

He established the GREEN Teachers Institute (GTI) in 1996, a series of workshops for preK-12 teachers that use environmental themes and issues to teach science concepts. The GTI has been named an “Outstanding Project” three times (1997, 2001, 2004) by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and in 2002 received an Education Award by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

Kaufman’s work with teachers has been supported with more than $2.5 million of external funding.

In 2003 he established the Center for Environmental Education to bring the Hefner Zoology Museum, the GREEN Teachers Institute and other educational efforts under one umbrella organization at Miami. Kaufman has also co-authored an award-winning environmental science textbook, The Biosphere: Protecting Our Global Environment, now in its fourth edition.

He has received many awards for his work, including the Outstanding Professor of the Year (1992); E. Philips Knox Teaching Award (1996) and the Distinguished Educator of the Year (1996-1997) at Miami, and he was the 1994 Continental Lecturer for the North American Association of Environmental Education.

Hogan (Miami MAT ’02) is a biology and advanced placement environmental science teacher at Lebanon High School. She has been working with Miami’s Global Change Limnology Laboratory conducting research in the summer (2009, 2010), including fieldwork at Glacier National Park, through the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program. The Global Change Limnology lab is led by Craig Williamson, Ohio Eminent Scholar in Ecosystem Ecology and professor of zoology.

“I see it as an awesome privilege and responsibility to be teaching the ecologists, doctors, chemists and engineers of the future and hope to inspire in them the curiosity and wonder that makes science such a rewarding profession,” says Hogan. “My experiences...in the Williamson lab...allow me to continue my love of research.”

Hogan has been teaching at Lebanon High School since 2003.

Sigma Xi is an international scientific and research honor society supporting original work in science and technology.

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