Midland Honors Mathematics Professor for Excellence in Teaching

Midland Honors Mathematics Professor for Excellence in Teaching

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Midland University recently honored one member of its faculty with the Stephen E. Fritz Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Zhongming Huang, Professor of Math, was presented with the university’s top faculty award during an academic year-end reception.

Established in 2010 by Fremont residents, Dr. Thom and Barbara Christensen, the award recognizes excellence in teaching as personified by Fritz, a former Midland president. Based on general criteria, the award distinguishes all aspects of a faculty member’s job.

Three additional faculty members were honored during an earlier ceremony. Rita Bristol, Associate Professor of Business, was presented with the Helping Hands Award; Jane Covington, Assistant Professor of Nursing, was presented with the Excellence in Teaching Award for full-time faculty; and Cindi Dodd, Education Instructor, was presented with the Excellence in Teaching Award for adjunct faculty.

“The mission of inspiring people to learn and lead in the world with purpose governs the spirit of Dr. Zhongming Huang’s everyday work. For that, students and this institution are thankful and blessed,” said Dr. Susan Kruml, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “He recognizes that the ever-changing world requires relevant and dynamic teaching and learning. He focuses on relating how what students learn is relevant to what they will do, or to what they want to become.”

Dedicated to serving the diverse learning needs of his students, Dr. Zhongming reaches out to students and embraces technological resources to meet beyond office hours.

“Students say Dr. Zhongming has a unique ability to connect with those who are struggling, helping them to succeed and build their confidence,” Dr. Kruml said. “Excelling students often remark that he pushes them beyond where they thought they could go.”

Dr. Kruml highlighted Dr. Zhongming’s methods of engaging students. He assigns group homework where students rotate roles such as writer, reader, and facilitator. Feedback indicated the collaboration helps students comprehend the subject matter better because of the analysis and synthesis involved. Dr. Zhongming also took students to the Linda Hall Library in Kansas City to study math history.

“Never have I been excited about Geometry until I attended Dr. Zhongming’s class,” Dr. Kruml said. “I heard a similar enthusiasm when talking with students about their trip. These students, most of whom were not Math majors, were engaged by the experience.”

In addition to classroom activities, Dr. Zhongming is active on the Midland campus. He serves on the Honors Committee where he led the redesign of the experiential learning course. He shares thoughts on how faculty can improve in the classroom, and serves as a role model for other faculty members.

Dr. Zhongming is also involved in the community. Central Chinese Television selected him to share his experience of living in America. Actively involved in the Chinese American Association, Dr. Zhongming was recently named Volunteer of the Year. Dr. Zhongming participated in a Midland speaker series and spoke at the “Coming to America” event, hosted by the Nazarene Church of Fremont.