This is an alternating award given every 3 years to a faculty member who has excelled in teaching, research, or advisory service.
This year's winner of the Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award is Dr. Chris Hein.
Chris’s engagement with students goes beyond simply offering stimulating lectures and classroom support. Chris excels in the “soft skills” that are an essential part of highly effective teaching, including providing support and guidance in emotional health, scientific research, and career planning. This is clear from his pursuit of training in William & Mary’s Ally Program, whose goal is to promote inclusivity and provide a supportive community.
Chris offers advice and guidance, both personal and academic, to students from all walks of life. As examples, he regularly engages with a program to host exchange students from Brazil in his Coastal Geology Lab and annually invites students at VIMS and William & Mary to attend his own family’s Thanksgiving dinner in case they are unable to travel home for the holiday.
Undergraduate education is also a central part of Chris’ educational philosophy and purpose. One would be hard pressed to find another researcher at VIMS who advises so many undergraduate students. Chris’s contributions to undergrad teaching and mentoring are exceptional and worthy of acknowledgement. He embodies the ideal educator and serves as a role model for those who wish to balance teaching and research in academia.