Two of the Department of Economics finest teachers were recognized for their “Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Education” by SAS Executive Dean Peter March and the SAS Office of Undergraduate Education.
Professor John Landon-Lane was recognized for his teaching, mentoring, designing curriculum, and leading the undergraduate program in Economics. His classroom efforts are first-rate: he enjoys exceptional student ratings in the classroom. One comment nicely captures the sentiments expressed by many other undergraduates: “Professor Landon-Lane cares deeply about his students understanding the material.”
Landon-Lane extended his mastery of the material and took it upon himself to redesign the curriculum for the mandatory Econometrics course. Professor Landon-Lane devoted himself to thinking carefully about what needed to be taught in this course, and at what level, and developing appropriate and meaningful problem-sets. The department has now converged around his design, significantly improving student preparation for subsequent courses in the major. Considered the most difficult course in the major by most undergraduates Landon-Lane brought rigor and consistency across all sections of the course. Despite the course’s well-deserved reputation as a “major killer” many juniors and seniors often cite Econometrics course as their favorite course.
In his comments recognizing Professor Landon-Lane, Executive Dean Peter March stated “Professor Landon-Lane is a tremendous asset not only to the Economics department but to the entire university. He is equally generous with a struggling sophomore as he is with a top-flight senior honors student. For his relentless devotion and unwavering dedication to his students, we are delighted to present Professor John Landon-Lane with the SAS Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Education.”
Teaching Professor Daijiro Okada is an accomplished teacher and a transformative force in the teaching of Economics at Rutgers. He plays a central role in teaching the first Economics courses students encounter and in identifying and developing additional instructors for these courses.
Okada is a campus leader in promoting innovative, creative approaches to undergraduate education across disciplines. He has been a pioneer at Rutgers in adoption of collaborative, active learning that replaces “chalk-and-talk” with short lectures followed by problem-solving that develops and extends the points made in the lecture.
When describing Professor Okada’s contributions, Executive Dean Peter March stated “Professor Okada is a central force in the development of an active learning community drawn from across disciplines in New Brunswick and he has worked with Digital Classroom Services, the Learning Centers, and Scheduling and Space Management giving well-received presentations and providing advice on the development of active-learning classrooms and support systems. For his excellent work in developing his own teaching, mentoring others, and his leadership in improving undergraduate instruction in one of our largest social science departments, we are delighted to present Professor Daijiro Okada with the SAS Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Education.”