Kazmer, Koontz receive Transformation Through Teaching Awards

Two Florida State University School of Library & Information Studies (SLIS) faculty members were recently honored as recipients of the 2013 Transformation Through Teaching Award.

Dr. Michelle Kazmer
Dr. Michelle Kazmer

Dr. Michelle Kazmer and Dr. Christie Koontz were two of 17 Florida State faculty members selected for the award, which is sponsored by the Spiritual Life ProjectGlobal Pathways Certificate and Exchanges, and Center for Global Engagement.

The Transformation Through Teaching Award program is in its third year and honors full-time faculty who have had “an intellectual, inspirational, and integrative impact on the lives of their students.”   They are nominated by students and chosen on the basis of their transformational role in their students’ academic life.

Stephanie Galligan, a Master’s of Library & Information Studies student, nominated Kazmer after taking Information, Technology, and Older Adults (Summer 2013) and Information Organization (Fall 2013).

“I am incredibly grateful and honored to have won a Transformation Through Teaching Award in 2013,” Kazmer said.  “While I have been nominated for several teaching awards over the years, this award through the FSU Spiritual Life Project is one of the most meaningful nominations because the intention behind the award resonates so strongly with my goals as a faculty member in LIS. My passion in the teaching, research, and service I do, as a faculty member is to inspire my students beyond our shared classroom and out into the rich intellectual and societally vital world of the information professions.”

Dr. Christie Koontz
Dr. Christie Koontz

Koontz was nominated for the award by graduate student Margaret Massey, who was a student in LIS 5528: Storytelling in the Summer 2013.

“I have several graduate degrees, however, there are few courses I really remember,” Massey wrote. “That will not be the case with LIS 5528. I was way out of my comfort zone. I thought perhaps I would “study” storytelling, but I was surprised. This was an ACTION course! We had to learn and tell stories to real people outside the class. We also become engaged in attending community storytelling events.  My entire family became part of the class. Dr. Koontz taught me that each of us has a story to tell, with her help we can do it well.”

“The storytelling class attracts students such as Margaret Massey who inspire and share and communicate,” Koontz said.  “I thank her. I appreciate the recognition the award brings to the value of online learning as well.”

Award recipients were honored at a dinner at the President’s House on Nov. 4 with the students who nominated them.  Inspiring stories of the nominees’ experiences were shared at the event.