Jessica Rowland was selected for a College of Arts and Science Teaching Excellence Award
May 20, 2021
Jessica Rowland has been teaching for the Sustainability Studies Program since Fall 2009. She was hired first as a Part-Time Instructor, then as a Visiting Lecturer, and finally as a Lecturer II in Fall 2017.
With her longstanding educational leadership in and out of the classroom, Jessica is at the core of the program’s success. She teaches interdisciplinary courses on sustainability, food systems, and climate change, and she promotes personal, collective, and systemic change for a more equitable and sustainable future. Jessica is committed to hands-on, community-engaged undergraduate education that connects students to local experts and real-world experiences that enrich their academic studies.
In 2012-13 Jessica received the Center for Teaching Excellence’s Outstanding Lecturer Award. Since then, she has continuously pursued professional development opportunities, including a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems.
In 2020 she completed multiple trainings that equipped her to excel despite the pandemic, when her teaching shifted entirely online for the first time in her career.
Her Introduction to Sustainability Studies course — required for the Sustainability Studies Minor—earned best practices certification from the UNM Online Course Advisory Council and her student and peer evaluations show that the quality of her teaching was not affected by the pandemic.
In addition to her teaching, Jessica facilitates the annual UNM Sustainability Expo and the on-campus Lobo Growers’ Market with her students. Together, they collaborate with a diverse set of campus and community partners to develop and implement sustainable initiatives.
She was recently selected as a fellow in both the UNM Student Experience Project (SEP) and the Expanding Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (ECURE) project. SEP aims to improve classroom success among structurally disadvantaged students by increasing belonging and growth mindset, while ECURE develops entry-level undergraduate research experiences that provide equitable, engaging, and inclusive access to research and investigation.
Jessica is active in the main professional society in her field, the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences, and has maintained engagement in research. She is co-author on a forthcoming paper that traces back to her graduate training in geosciences.
The College of Arts & Sciences was especially impressed with Jessica’s student-centered approaches and efforts to engage students and provide opportunities to apply their knowledge.
Because her work has been central to the development and success of the Sustainability Studies Program, The College of Arts & Sciences is delighted to bestow the Teaching Excellence award for Lecturers to Jessica Rowland.