Mike Kottelenberg Wins HUCSC Teaching Award
Being accessible to my students is the biggest thing for me. I say to them, whether you’re getting an A or you’re failing, you’re always welcome in my office.
When you think back on all of the teachers that you’ve had, usually at least one stands out in your mind. Often, it’s because that teacher made you feel something – important, listened to, or understood.
Each year at Convocation, Huron students acknowledge a Huron professor who stood out to them by naming a recipient of the Huron University Students Council (HUCSC) Teaching Award. HUCSC President Christianne Morrison says that this award is significant because “it’s a decision made by students and ultimately it’s about who can create a first-class student experience.” She goes on to explain that Dr. Mike Kottelenberg (Department of Economics) was selected for this year’s award because of “his dedication to students and his approachability.”
“I was surprised, really!” remarks Kottelenberg when asked what his initial reaction was to receiving the teaching award.
Kottelenberg is entering his fifth year of teaching economics at Huron. He has taught first year micro and macro-economics classes, fourth year seminar classes, and everything in between. His goal is to maintain a casual and approachable style of teaching because he wants students to feel comfortable and to know that he is there to support them.
Morrison explains that the recipient of the HUCSC Teaching Award is selected through a process that begins with nominations by both students’ council members and students at large. The student who nominates the professor give a short presentation on how this individual shaped their academic experience. At the last HUCSC meeting of the year, each nominator has the opportunity to explain why they made their nomination, and then a decision is made by anonymous ranked ballot.
Kottelenberg is grateful that the students thought of him: “I didn’t expect it! It came from the students and it’s a really cool thing to be singled out for something like this.” When asked how this award is significant to his teaching, Kottelenberg reflects, “more than anything it affirms my teaching philosophy, and is an encouragement to continue to do the things that I believe in.”
What is Dr. Kottelenberg’s teaching philosophy, you might ask? “Being accessible to my students is the biggest thing for me. I say to them, whether you’re getting an A or you’re failing, you’re always welcome in my office.”