by Tracy Coley
Original story in Columns
Audrey Haynes, Josiah Meigs Teaching Professor and associate professor of political science in UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs, has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award for online teaching for the University System of Georgia.
Haynes, a longtime advocate for engaging students inside and outside the classroom, was chosen from numerous outstanding nomination portfolios across the state and received the award in recognition of continuing to expand and improve her online introductory political science course.
Haynes, a 2014 Online Learning Faculty Fellow, pioneered the online introductory American government course POLS 1101E, a college-wide requirement for all UGA students. The course also is considered a gateway class for students interested in government, politics and public affairs.Through the Online Learning fellowship, Haynes expanded her knowledge of online course design and delivery for a media-rich, student-focused experience.Her high-demand course provides access for up to 300 students each semester who might otherwise have to wait for an opening in the traditional, face-to-face class.
“Whether online or in person, Dr. Haynes demonstrates a deep commitment to ensuring that students are actively engaged in the learning process,” said Provost Pamela Whitten.“Her passion for the subjects she teaches is infectious, and students leave her courses with a deeper understanding of electoral politics and American government.”
Recipients of the USG award are faculty who “are strongly committed to quality online teaching and learning, as evidenced by teaching and scholarly activities designed to advance the quality of online teaching and learning.” Current full-time faculty and academic staff who teach a minimum of 12 credit hours of fully online instruction at one of the USG institutions across the fall, spring and summer semesters are eligible for the award.Each institution may nominate one faculty member for the award. UGA coordinates nominations out of the Center for Teaching and Learning.
Haynes has taught at UGA since 1999 and is frequently called upon for her expertise in political candidate communication strategy and the news media, particularly with presidential nomination campaigns. She is also director of the new applied politics track of the Public Affairs Professional Certificate Program.
“This wonderful award is shared with the administration who has supported the online learning initiatives, the support network that we have at UGA for teaching and learning, and in large part, our students, who aren’t afraid to try something different and love learning as much as we love teaching,” said Haynes, who was recognized March 2 at the Regents’ Scholarship Gala in Atlanta.