Mississippi State is now accepting applications for three prestigious awards: the 2023 Grisham Master Teacher Awards, the 2023 Donald Zacharias Early Career Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Awards and the 2023 Alumni Association Graduate and/or Professional Teaching Excellence Awards.
Interested faculty must submit an electronic application in PDF format to the MSU Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President via firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 18 if their teaching can only be observed in the fall semester or by Nov. if their teaching can be observed in the spring semester.
All current full-time MSU faculty members with the required years of service, regardless of rank, are eligible to apply for these awards. Late applications will not be accepted.
Please note several changes from previous years. Formal nominations have returned. Applicants can manage and submit their own applications. This is to lessen burdens on department heads or others and give applicants more responsibility and control in the process. Nominees should submit a letter nomination (two-pages maximum) and a limit of five letters (one-page maximum each) of support with two being from faculty and two being from students. In addition, applicants will include a summary of their course evaluations using the provided template on the provost’s website.
There are two application deadlines. For applicants who can only be observed in the fall semester, the Oct. 18 deadline is necessary to allow time for a preliminary evaluation of the application and for classroom observation if warranted. Normally, applicants are evaluated and observed in the spring semester. For applicants whose classroom teaching can be observed in the spring, the deadline for applications is Nov. 15.
Finally, in recognition of the rich presence of outstanding teachers in our faculty, the university will bestow additional awards this year. The number of Grisham awards has increased from one to three; Early Career awards increased from one to three or four; Graduate and Professional Awards have increased from one to two.
To be eligible for these awards, faculty must be teaching at least one course during either the fall or spring semester to allow for in-class or online observation, which is required to be eligible for any award.
To be eligible for the Grisham Master Teacher Award, applicants must have at least seven years of experience already completed at MSU teaching primarily undergraduates.
To be eligible for the Zacharias Early Career Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award, applicants must have three to six years of experience already completed at MSU teaching primarily undergraduates.
To be eligible for the Alumni Association Graduate and/or Professional Teaching Excellence Award, applicants must have a minimum of three years of experience already completed at MSU teaching primarily graduate students or professionals.
Applicants will be evaluated on criteria including the engagement of students in learning, assessment of teaching and learning, clarity and organization of teaching, variety of teaching methods, enthusiasm, scholarship of teaching and professional presentation of the application. Finalists will be observed teaching their classes, in person or online, during the fall or (usually) spring semester.
An application cover sheet and instructions may be found at provost.msstate.edu under the Announcements section.
After careful review, the UIIC will select and announce the winners before the end of the spring semester. Strongest consideration will be given to those applicants who carefully follow the application packet requirements and succeed in clearly documenting and demonstrating their mastery of outstanding teaching. Application packets of prior Grisham Master Teacher winners are displayed in the Special Collections section in the Mitchell Memorial Library and may be reviewed by potential award applicants.
We are deeply grateful to Mr. and Mrs. John Grisham, to the Zacharias Endowment and to the MSU Alumni Association for their support of these highly prestigious teaching awards.