Academic Ceremonies - December Commencement

Recognition of 2011 Korepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Awards:
Jane E. Knodell
Professor of Economics
Provost and Senior Vice President

Chyi-Lyi Kathleen Liang Sayamwong Hammack

The Kroepsch-Maurice Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes faculty in each of the academic ranks who have demonstrated excellence in classroom teaching, ability to motivate and challenge students, and the capacity to engage students in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding.

The award is named for Robert H. and Ruth M. Kroepsch and her parents, Walter C. and Mary L. Maurice. Robert H. Kroepsch served as Registrar and Dean of Administration at UVM from 1946 to 1956. His wife, Ruth, graduated from UVM in 1938 and her father, Walter Maurice, graduated from UVM in 1909. All four of them were teachers.

It is my honor to recognize our 2011 Kroepsch-Maurice award recipients here today.

Chyi-Lyi Kathleen Liang, Associate Professor of Community Entrepreneurship

Chyi-Lyi Kathleen Liang, when your peers and students are trying to find the words to describe you, they often say “above and beyond.” Whether developing a new curriculum, teaching, or advising, you devote yourself to the task wholeheartedly.

In the classroom you demonstrate outstanding teaching skills and methodology. Your award-winning signature course, Introduction to Community Entrepreneurship or “Dollar Enterprise,” as it is known on campus, is legendary and attracts over 150 students a year from across the campus. This class gives students firsthand experience in starting a small business. It is experiential learning at its best and students love it.

Your expectations are high and students know they will work hard in your classroom, but you inspire them to produce their best work. They gather like “groupies” outside your office door because they know that you are truly unselfish with your time and your interest in their wellbeing is genuine.

An energetic and innovative educator, you have been recognized by your peers on and off campus with numerous awards. In the words of one of your students, “It is an honor to know and work with her.” Congratulations.

Sayamwong Hammack, Assistant Professor of Psychology

Sayamwong (Jom) Hammock, you are an outstanding teacher who brings a love of science, infectious enthusiasm and an incredible commitment to your teaching.

Quiet and soft-spoken, your lectures are dynamic and full of life. Since your appointment at the University of Vermont in 2006, you have transformed the once dreaded but required biopsychology course for psychology majors into a course that is now a favorite among students. You have accomplished this in part because of your ability to take extraordinarily difficult material and make it accessible to students.

In addition to being an excellent teacher, you are also an excellent mentor and have welcomed undergraduates into your lab. Many of your students have co-authored peer reviewed research articles in top journals and have gone on to graduate school.

As an advisor, you devote considerable time to devising strategies for being supportive while at the same time promoting a student’s ability to become increasingly responsible for themselves and their own development.

Within the department, you are always willing to take on special assignments, cover lectures or staff undergraduate events. You are a true role model. Congratulations.

I would also like to recognize Gagan Mirchandani, Professor of Engineering and Cuong Mai, Lecturer of Religion, who could not be here today. Please join me in recognizing these outstanding members of the university faculty.


Last modified January 22 2012 10:15 AM

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