Honoring rising stars in the classroom

Irina Ivliyeva is emphatic about why the Miner Alumni Association’s Class of ’42 Excellence in Teaching Award is important. It shines the spotlight on a tough job: being an early career faculty member at S&T.

“It takes a semester just to get a feel for the culture and students,” says Ivliyeva, a professor of Russian and chair of the Outstanding Teaching Awards Committee, which also administers the Class of ’42 award. “A teacher has to click not just on an intellectual level, but also on a human level. It’s extremely difficult to earn high student-evaluation scores.”

The judging criteria for the Class of ’42 award is the same as that for the Outstanding Teaching Awards — a candidate must score at least a 3.6 out of a possible 4.0 on student evaluations.


“A teacher has to click not just on an intellectual level, but also on a human level.”


There is one difference: only tenure-track faculty members who are not yet tenured are eligible for the Class of ’42 award.

“It’s a little like a lifetime achievement award for junior faculty members,” says Ivliyeva. “The campuswide recognition is important, and it counts when it comes to promotion and tenure.” Honorees receive a cash award of $2,000.

The Class of ’42 Excellence in Teaching Award was established in 1992 when class members celebrated the 50th anniversary of their graduation. Bob Brackbill, MinE’42, was among the class leaders who spearheaded fundraising for two endowments: one for a scholarship and the other for the teaching award.

“We pushed everyone pretty hard to get involved with our fundraising efforts,” said Brackbill in a Missouri S&T Magazine story published in 2009. Also quoted was another classmate, the late George Bradshaw, ME’42: “We all had been through the Depression as children, and so we learned to live frugally and to help others. We continue that expression of helping others through our endowments.”

The first Class of ’42 award was presented in 1993 and 25 early career faculty members have been honored to date, including Ivliyeva, who received the award in 2007. Max Tohline, Engl’07, assistant professor of art and film, received the 2017 award, and Wenqing Hu, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, was honored in 2018.

“Many awards are based on years of experience, but the Class of ’42 award is different,” says Ivliyeva. “It spotlights rising stars who illuminate the classroom.”

Around the Puck

“Forged in Gold: Missouri S&T’s First 150 Years”

In the 1870s, Rolla seemed an unlikely location for a new college. There were only about 1,400 residents in a community with more saloons than houses of worship. There were no paved streets, sewers or water mains. To visitors, there seemed to be as many dogs, hogs, horses, ducks and geese as humans walking the dusty streets.

[Read More...]

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2019

[Read More...]

Bringing clean water to South America

Assessing water quality, surveying mountaintop locations and building systems to catch rainwater — that’s how members of S&T’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders spent their summer break.

[Read More...]

Geothermal goals exceeded

After five years of operation, Missouri S&T’s geothermal energy system continues to outperform expectations. S&T facilities operations staff originally predicted the geothermal system would reduce campus water usage by over 10% — roughly 10 million gallons per year. The system, which went online in May 2014, cut actual water usage by 18 million to 20 […]

[Read More...]

What happens in Vegas…may appear in print

In his latest volume of Las Vegas lore, historian Larry Gragg says it was deliberate publicity strategies that changed the perception of Sin City from a regional tourist destination where one could legally gamble and access legalized prostitution just outside the city limits, to a family vacation spot filled with entertainment options and surrounded by […]

[Read More...]