Three out of five of the newest Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence recipients teach an online course. They are three instructors from three very different areas of study, but they share one common quality — they deliver a high-quality, award-winning education to Mizzou’s distance students.

Jennifer Fellabaum-Toston

Jennifer Fellabaum-Toston

As the director of the online educational leadership doctorate (EdD) program, Fellabaum-Toston is no stranger to online education. She teaches multiple courses — most of which have received glowing student evaluations that exceeded the courses’ departmental averages.

In fact, her comfort and high skill level with teaching online has allowed her to guide fellow faculty members. Fellabaum-Toston leverages technology in her courses to provide an interactive experience.

“She believes and helped me to believe that teaching online can be as transformative as teaching in person if you go about it with care and intentionality,” said Michael Steven Williams, an assistant professor in the College of Education.

Her care and intentionality also carry over to her interactions with students.

“Talking to her has always provided clarity, confidence and comfort,” said Chelsea Fricker, a Mizzou alumna that is looking to pursue her EdD. “That same clarity, confidence and comfort are felt in her classroom and by every single student who has the privilege of working with her.”

Peter Motavalli

Peter Motavalli

Motavalli’s unique approach to teaching is present in his online course Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition, which is part of the agroforestry master’s and agroforestry graduate certificate programs. He engages students through evidence-based active learning strategies.

“My favorite aspect of Dr. Motavalli’s teaching was his ability to apply what we were learning to real world problems through in-class case studies,” said Lindsey Anderson, a graduate student at MU. “I found this activity very beneficial because often in college we are lectured on topics, but rarely are we put in a setting where we must apply what we know to a real issue.”

Botswana Blackburn

Botswana Blackburn

Blackburn, professor and health sciences program director, serves as a mentor to students across the entire campus.

“Dr. Blackburn is a life coach and tireless advocate of her students, including the students enrolled in her courses; those studying health sciences; all of those who reach out to her; and those who need counsel, praise or support,” said Kristofer Hagglund, dean of the School of Health Professions.

In summer 2019, she will provide her mentorship to an online audience with Healthcare Organization and Leadership, a core course in the bachelor of health science in health science (BHS) program.

Read more about this year’s Kemper Award winners.