Home > News >> Kurwitz honored as ‘inspirational and transformational’ mentor

Dr. Cable R. Kurwitz honored as ‘inspirational and transformational’ mentor

May 19, 2017

    The Center for Teaching Excellence at Texas A&M University held its inaugural Aggies Celebrate Teaching! - Recognizing Transformational Learningreception on Tuesday, May 2, 2017.

    The call for nominations received over 60 submissions. Students across all colleges wrote heart-felt essays giving evidence of and reflecting upon the professor's impact on their learning and lives.

    Six students honored their professors as inspirational and transformational mentors before an audience of 80 faculty, staff, and administrators. This event was the fulfillment of the vision of Center leadership to celebrate faculty across all colleges for their impact on students through transformational teaching practices.

    "Teaching that encourages students to question assumptions and challenge beliefs… such that they emerge from the experience with a changed perspective influencing interactions and contributions to a modern world."

    The students shared their stories of "complex and rigorous content, taught using visual examples"; "assumptions that were continuously challenged and positively changed"; and "integrating real-world challenges like technical failures to require students to complete necessary calculations by hand." The audience heard compelling student accounts of the impact transformational teaching has had on student learning.

    Dr. Cable Kurwitz, senior lecturer in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, was nominated by Jared Lilly, a freshman engineering major. 

    "(Kurwitz) taught me the how to think critically, which helped me a lot in not only his class, but also my other math and science courses," said Lilly. "Also, he taught me the importance of taking initiative whether it was simply getting prepared for class or getting involved in an organization. Lastly, he also shared his wisdom on the need to not only work hard in college, but also make some great memories and have a good time."


    The audience was deeply moved by the time the last student shared their experience, recognizing the power of the connection between student and teacher. And though we heard different stories, from different disciplines, using different teaching methods - the result was the same - reaffirming that there are many ways to teach effectively.

    In addition to Kurwitz, the following professors were honored for their transformational teaching practices:

    • Mr. Gary Boldt, College of Architecture, nominated by Bo Hawthorne, senior Construction Science major
    • Dr. Heidi Campbell, College of Liberal Arts, nominated by Lauren Mathews, senior Telecommunication Media Studies major
    • Dr. Gregory Chamitoff, Dwight Look College of Engineering, nominated by Mauricio Coen, graduate student in Aerospace Engineering
    • Dr. Scott Cummings, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, nominated by Jodi Nerren, graduate student in Agriculture Leadership, Education, and Communication
    • Dr. Jake Mowrer, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, nominated by Vanessa Limon, senior Plant & Environmental Soil Sciences major