Dr. Stephen Moysey received the 2015 Philip Prince Award for Innovation in Teaching at Clemson University. Named after Clemson President Emeritus Philip Prince, this prestigious award recognizes professors who utilize and synthesize creative and unique teaching methods for their students. Dr. Moysey received the award at the Faculty Convocation on August 18, 2015.
Dr. Moysey teaches several courses and consistently receives very positive student feedback. Nevertheless, this nomination focuses on his excellence in innovative approaches to learning –particularly in GEOL 2700 (Experiences in Sustainable Development: Water). In this course, he engages students in discussions about complex real-world case studies from around the world. Using role playing, students represent opposing views on issues like water rights conflicts between farmers, energy producers, environmentalists, and Native Americans in the Klamath watershed and arguments over groundwater depletion in the West Bank between Palestinians and Israelis. Dr. Moysey has also innovated in the use of games in the classroom by creating a semester-long multiplayer-online water management game focused on a villager in India. Every few weeks, students prepare, debate, and vote on policy proposals to improve quality of life, which frequently leads to spirited discussions of broader societal issues ranging from the value of environment versus economic development to social justice and the pros and cons of infanticide, arranged marriage, and communism. The course is unusual in that it brings together viewpoints of students ranging from freshmen to seniors, in majors ranging from environmental engineering to fine arts, around a common interest in the sustainability of water.
Dr. Moysey is also pioneering new methods of classroom teaching, such as through a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop virtual reality field trips using the Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard, which will ultimately be used in introductory geoscience classrooms. He is also leading a second NSF-sponsored study to use of novel, creative, and accessible research experiences (e.g., student science reporting) to engage non-majors within the geosciences. In recognition of his teaching and research capabilities, Dr. Moysey was recently named a co-director of the Clemson Center for Geospatial Technologies, within the Center for Economic Excellence in Next Generation Computing. A key mission of the Center is to promote and propagate the use of novel teaching methods across the campus, e.g., integration of geospatial cyberinfrastructure and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the classroom. This activity will afford an even greater opportunity for Dr. Moysey to communicate with other Clemson faculty on the methods he uses to integrate research and innovative teaching methods.