Burke, Markova receive first-ever CHSS Excellence in Teaching Awards

Friday, September 07, 2018

SF State’s College of Health & Social Sciences presented its inaugural Excellence in Teaching Awards at the College’s Fall Opening Meeting on August 23. The new award was established to underscore the Colleges deep commitment to excellence in teaching. One tenured or tenure-track faculty member and one lecturer are selected for the honor.

Criteria for the award include designing courses to maximize learning; stimulating interest of students and encouraging them to think imaginatively, critically, and independently; an innovative pedagogical approach; and a record of outstanding teaching effectiveness both within and outside the classroom. Candidates for this award must have maintained an average of at least a .40 teaching load over a five-plus year period.

John Elia and Adam Burke

Professor of Health Education Adam Burke received the award for tenured faculty, in recognition of his broad range of accomplishments. His creative instructional contributions include the development of the courses Holistic Approaches to Academic Success (HH200) and Meditation and Imagery in Healing (HH540). He links theory to practice as he calls upon the students to practice the self-care skills he teaches.

As director of the Holistic Health Studies Institute and program, he has helped to evolve a model undergraduate health promotion program, one of the most comprehensive and longstanding programs of its kind in the country, offering students a curriculum rich in interdisciplinary and cross-cultural content, emphasizing systems thinking, social and environmental awareness, and practical self/patient-care skills. He has written numerous peer-reviewed articles on this perspective in undergraduate education. He also conducts research on curricular innovations, which has been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at conferences.

Burke has also worked to establish a contemplative practices perspective on campus by interweaving meditation and empathy practices into his courses and presenting on mindfulness and compassion to scholars within and outside of SF State.

John Elia and Ivana MarkovaIvana Markova of the Family Interiors Nutrition & Apparel Department received the award for lecturers. Markova has taught in the Apparel Design & Merchandising program for more than 10 years, in areas including textile science, research methods and consumer behavior. (She has joined the tenure-track faculty as an assistant professor as of Fall ’18.) Her most recent research explores topics in consumer behavior studies with the focus on media and the effects a variety of media platforms have on individuals’ body image. 

Six students collaborated on Markova’s nomination. They cited her caring for her students’ success, her willingness to go above and beyond for them, her detailed feedback and her leadership in the classroom.

Burke and Markova each received $750 and a certificate signed by Dean Alvin Alvarez and Associate Dean John Elia.

Pictured: Associate Dean John Elia presents CHSS Excellence in Teaching Award certificates to Adam Burke and Ivana Markova at the CHSS Annual Fall Opening Meeting.