The Seaway Section is pleased to announce that Xiao Xiao from Utica College has been awarded the 2020 Clarence Stephens Award for Teaching Excellence. The following excerpt is taken from The Seaway Current, Vol. 43, No. 3, written by Keary Howard:
Xiao has made an indelible mark beyond the classroom, establishing Utica's chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon in 2014 advising the math club, and organizing biannual trips for students to the section meetings. Xiao's influence also extends beyond the department. Utica Mathematics Department Chair Brad Emmons notes that Xiao's "enthusiasm for teaching is not just confined to the teaching of mathematics. He has proven to be an invaluable resource to the teaching and dissemination of teaching practices at the College. For the past several years he has been organizing the Utica College Teaching Day, an annual event dedicated to sharing the best teaching practices across the college. The event has been very well received."
Some of the highest accolades of Xiao's work are received from his students. "His door is always open and he has had a resonating impact on me and has forced me to evaluate the way I learn in all other courses." The theme of teaching an approach to learning was woven throughout student testimonials. "Professor Xiao teaches more than just a math course, he teaches a life course. He made it transparent that for our lives and careers we need more than just mathematical knowledge we need to be able to communicate our ideas and knowledge through effective presentation styles both verbal and written. We need to be able to break down what seems to be an impossible situation and slowly chip away and fight for every inch to obtain our goal."
The evidence is clear and the Seaway Nominating committee is proud to present Professor Xiao with the section's prestigious teaching award in 2020.