Mikio Akagi Honored with Maryrose Short Teaching Excellence Award

The first University-wide Maryrose Short Teaching Excellence Award was bestowed to Mikio Akagi, Ph.D., assistant professor of the history and philosophy of science, at TCU’s 2021 Fall Convocation.

“I want to thank the students who inspire me to want to help them and the faculty and staff across campus who inspire everyone to work harder,” Akagi said.

Nominators said :

“Dr. Akagi’s big-brain courses never fail to excite and expand students’ minds. Dr. Akagi possesses a unique talent for translating his philosophical training into creative courses that are accessible and relevant to students from all majors, courses that build students’ intellectual capabilities as they learn to use tools of philosophical and scientific inquiry to grapple with complex social problems. Even as Dr. Akagi challenges students to reach beyond familiar idioms of thought, he attends faithfully to their learning, consistently earning the highest marks in the College for feedback on student work. He also never rests on previous teaching successes. While maintaining an active research agenda and a generous array of College and University service commitments, Dr. Akagi continually revises his courses and self-produced learning supplements.”

“One of Dr. Akagi’s most innovative teaching practices is the introduction of a mastery-based feedback system in which students receive ‘mastery scores’ on their assignments – a pass/fail plan based on well-articulated rubrics, allowing him to provide intellectually honest feedback while setting the pass threshold at a reasonable level of competency. By obscuring the relationship between submitted assignments and end-of-semester letter grades, Dr. Akagi encourages students to focus more on being able to identify, analyze and address arguments from a text.”

The Maryrose Short Award recognizes excellence in teaching and is specifically focused on exceptional untenured, full-time faculty members, including non-tenure track faculty with five years or less at TCU. Nominations from colleges and schools are submitted to academic deans who select the top three to submit to the provost for final selection. This award was established by Dan Short, Ph.D., former dean of the Neeley School of Business, in memory of his wife, Maryrose Short. The winner receives $6,000 with the stipulation that $1,000 be used for a professional development activity.

The finalists for the award were Brandon Manning, Assistant Professor of English, AddRan College of Liberal Arts, and Jennifer Smith, Assistant Professor of Profesional Practice, College of Education.

Nominees included: Bill Grieser, Neeley School of Business; Emily Herzig, College of Science & Engineering; Michelle Kimzey, Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences; Brandon Manning, AddRan College of Liberal Arts; Sarah Newton, Collge of Fine Arts; Charity Robinson, Bob Schieffer College of Communication.