Sehoya Cotner recognized with top honor from the National Association of Biology Teachers for her excellence as an educator.
Sehoya Cotner (BTL) received the National Association of Biology Teachers’ University Biology Teaching Award. The award goes to an outstanding biology educator who demonstrates creativity and innovation in an undergraduate course.
“This is a major accomplishment” says Randy Moore (BTL), who nominated Cotner for the award. “It’s easily the equivalent of receiving a major grant. The National Association of Biology Teachers is the country’s largest professional organization of biology teachers, and they recognize only one teacher per year with this award. This year, they chose Sehoya as their best biology teacher. That’s impressive, and she is, too.”
Cotner teaches the popular Biology 1003 (Evolution and Biology of Sex) course, which she developed, and co-leads annual courses in marine biology in the Galapagos and Roatan, Honduras.
Moore sees her teaching style as critical to her successes as an educator. “She understands that you have to get and keep students’ attention,” he says. “She starts with that, knows the material, and has a very relaxed and calm way of interacting with students. She uses relevant examples to make her points; this helps make her a successful educator. But the foundation for Sehoya being such a good teacher is Sehoya herself; she is a great example of how important a teacher’s personality is to their effectiveness. You can learn some things in classes that can improve your teaching, but nothing counts more that the teacher herself.”
While receiving accolades for her teaching style, Moore also sees the direct impact Cotner’s teaching has on the students themselves.
“Her teaching goes far beyond the classroom,” says Moore. “She really works to create opportunities for her students’ success down the road by encouraging them to pursue research and other opportunities.”