TAMUG professor receives distinguished teaching award    

November 3, 2011

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Dr. von Zharen

Dr. von Zharen, a professor of Marine Sciences teaches a variety of courses, from international law and management strategies to invasive species’ vectors, pathways and management to wildlife law and ethics to environmental law, to mediation.

She was recently recognized by Chancellor Sharp with one of the highest honors afforded professors by those who represent students—The Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching.

The award recognizes, encourages and rewards superior classroom teachers; those individuals whose command of their respective discipline, teaching methodologies, pervasive caring, communication skills and commitment to the learning process exemplify the meaning of teacher/mentor in the highest sense. It also provides a $2,000 cash award.

“I am indeed humbled; it was quite an unexpected honor,” Says Dr. von Zharen. “My teaching goal is to foster critical and innovative thinking: for example, instead of discussing the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling from the point of view of the United States, I want students to be able to discuss this treaty from the point of view of, say, the whale, the whalers, and anti-whaling activists. In other words, to encourage students to understand multiple and global stakeholders’ perspectives; ultimately, I hope these science students become change agents for stewarding the oceans and doing what is necessary to keep our oceans from becoming a global garbage can; and participating in the development of future environmental protection law.”

Representatives from the Association of Former students say Dr. von Zharen is distinguished among teachers, because she maintains high expectations of her students. She motivates and develops her students to excel academically.

In addition to her teaching abilities, Dr. von Zharen’s research interests include anthropogenic stressors on marine (headwaters to oceans [H20]) ecosystems along the Nova Scotia and Newfoundland coasts; marine and coastal invasive species; international adaptive and resiliency standards (ISO) for ecosystems, business districts, and communities; and shorebirds as bio-indicators of marine ecosystem health for developing effective management strategies. 

Dr. Wyndylyn von Zharen received her LL.M. (international/ocean law) from the University of Texas; J.D. (international law) from the University of South Carolina; and doctoral, master’s, and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Florida (international studies/anthropology).

For more information about the Association of Former Students achievement awards, go to http://www.aggienetwork.com/programs/awards/daul/