Mona Musa Recognized by the College of Arts and Sciences
David E. Logothetti Teaching Award
In recognition for having established among colleagues and students a well-deserved reputation for an energetic, engaging, and effective teaching style, and having demonstrated the ability to motivate other teachers and learners.
Mona joined the faculty in 2008 as an Academic Year Adjunct Lecturer, and became a Lecturer in 2011 with the implementation of that rank across the university. She teaches a wide variety of students in lower-division courses, from Math/CS majors to Business students to students who need to pass Math 4 so they can graduate. Impressively, she connects equally well with all of them. Despite having many students in her courses who are intimidated by the subject, she manages to create an atmosphere where genuine learning takes place.
Her evaluations are exceptional and she is regularly praised for her clarity, pace, attitude, detailed explanations, and clear organized notes. But Mona’s not-so-secret key to success? According to multiple colleagues, she is one of the kindest people on the planet. All of our undergraduates are required to take mathematics, and, candidly, many are intimidated by the subject. To have a calm, empathetic, encouraging, and brilliant teacher is such a gift, especially for a less confident student. Over the years, students have consistently commented on the genuine care that Mona shows for them. She is approachable, incredibly patient, and goes above and beyond to help each student reach their potential. She creates a classroom environment where students feel safe to take chances, not worrying about being wrong or looking foolish. In a recent letter, her department wrote to her, “You handle student participation exceptionally well, praising them when they are correct, and gently correcting them when they are wrong. Even those who provide incorrect input on one problem willingly contribute on future problems… Even while correcting them in front of their peers, you manage to build their confidence.”
The Logothetti Prize is awarded for having demonstrated the ability to motivate other teachers, as well as learners. Quoting another outstanding SCU teacher of mathematics, “Mona is a wonderful friend and colleague, and she makes our department better in so many ways. If I need to vent, I go to Mona. If I want to bounce ideas off of someone, I go to Mona. If I need help figuring out the fairest solution to a student issue, I work it through with Mona. If I want to spend time with a wonderful person who is guaranteed to boost my mood, I go to Mona.”
An outstanding teacher who inspires her students and her colleagues—Mona Musa is a tremendously worthy recipient of this year’s Logothetti Award.