Above and beyond: HU professors accept teaching award
The Edward L. Hamm, Sr. Distinguished Teaching Award recognizes members of the Hampton University (HU) faculty who have been nominated by their peers and/or students and selected by HU President, Dr. William R. Harvey, for their teaching excellence. On September 30 at the 70th Annual Fall Convocation, two exceptional members of the faculty were recognized for their hard work and dedication to HU students.
Dr. Halima Ali, professor in the HU Department of Mathematics, began teaching in 1976 in her native country, Somalia. She came to the United States and earned a masters degree and Ph.D from Howard University. Ali joined the Department of Mathematics at Hampton University in 1993.
“Teaching is the only job I’ve ever done. I’m an all around [educator],” stated Ali.
One of Ali’s passions is mentoring students. Working at summer workshops with high school students was one of the most memorable experiences in her career. She has mentored various students at secondary, undergraduate, and graduate levels. Ali has authored numerous publications and has led and participated in over 15 funded projects.
“I love engaging students on different levels, many of my students have won awards and I have received plaques as recognition for my mentorship,” said Ali. “ I take pride in my students when they’re doing well. It gives me the fuel to keep going.”
Ali’s teaching method and style vary based on the course. Teaching methods change because different students have different mathematical maturities.
“When you have been teaching a long time like I have, you get a sense of how students are responding and you adjust your teaching accordingly.” She believes that it is very important to motivate and encourage students.
“Being recognized as a distinguished teacher was a high point for me. There are no words to describe being recognized for what you love to do. When President Harvey announced that I would receive the award, I said ‘Wow,’ I could not believe it, I am honored.”
Dr. Ziette Hayes, assistant professor in the School of Business, was also selected by Dr. William R. Harvey to obtain the Edward L. Hamm Sr. Teaching Award.
“It was a pleasant surprise. Very humbling experience,” Hayes said.
Hayes has significantly impacted Hampton University (HU) by assisting in the development and implementation of HUs first online Doctorate of Philosophy in Business Administration program.
As an assistant professor in the Department of Administration, Hayes often finds ways to improve logistics within the HU Leadership Application Program. Hayes engages in several discussions with students regarding their career interests and the status of their professional and academic goals. Dr. Hayes encourages students to make the most of the opportunities HU and the business program have to offer.
“I have a bit of an open door policy that allows students to share with me whether it is during office hours or not, so my office is usually pretty busy,” Hayes said. “Because I am very student focused, the time I have with students is very energizing.”
She has a passion to deliver instruction in a way that reaches students on a daily basis, as the 2011-12 Provost Innovative Teaching Award Recipient Hayes has made strides with that goal.
Her love for business came from warm experiences with her father; who allowed her to write checks as a child. Hayes then gained experience as an intern at a bank. Over the course of 11 years she has held several positions within several divisions of General Electric (GE) and the Early Morning Shows of NBC, such as “The Today Show” and more.
Being a community leader is important to Hayes, who calls her leadership style “very situational.” She prefers a participative style of leadership in an environment without boundaries.
“My goal post continues to move,” Hayes said. “I see personal growth and contributing to society as a lifelong goal. Professionally and personally I have much to yet accomplish.”
- Brianna Dance