Ph.D. Candidate Wins Teaching Award

“Her clearly defined expectations made me a better reader, a better researcher, and a better writer… Professor Hisey isn’t just tough, and a bit of a stickler for details—she is also kind, responsive, incredibly helpful, and very generous with her time… I’ll go ahead and add that she’s also very funny… Right from the start […]

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November 15, 2021

“Her clearly defined expectations made me a better reader, a better researcher, and a better writer… Professor Hisey isn’t just tough, and a bit of a stickler for details—she is also kind, responsive, incredibly helpful, and very generous with her time… I’ll go ahead and add that she’s also very funny… Right from the start it was abundantly clear that Professor Hisey is passionate about both the subject matter and the success of her students, and she deserves to be recognized for it.” Excerpt of a nomination letter of Hisey’s teaching from a former student

Photo of Hisey

Ph.D. Candidate in History and Philosophy of Science, Aimee Dávila Hisey, has won Oregon State University’s Herbert F. Frolander Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistants. The award, which is offered through Oregon State University’s Graduate School is given annually to one student who demonstrates “outstanding teaching and professional involvement” with students and faculty. Hisey, who became eligible for the award last year, has been nominated once before. In addition to a $1,000 stipend, winners also receive a plaque engraved with their name. 

Hisey has been teaching continuously at OSU since receiving her M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2017. That same year she earned a Graduate Certificate in College and University Teaching. Her teaching style has been influenced by Professors Jessica Beck and Lori Kayes as well as her Ph.D. advisor, Professor Nicole von Germeten, who’s passion for history has been something Hisey is always trying to emulate. 

Her primary area of expertise is Latin American History, and many of the courses she has taught, she developed herself for OSU’s ecampus. This includes HST 348 (Latin America Preconquest) and HST 350 (Early Latin America). Recently she has worked to redevelop HST 351 (Modern Latin America) to match current scholarship and interpretation. These upper division courses comprise a chronological sequence that allows Hisey to delve deeper into the subject matter than she could with lower division courses could. The rotating schedule has allowed Hisey to approach each quarter with a renewed sense of excitement and enthusiasm. 

Homepage for Hisey’s HST 351 Course

Her teaching philosophy has changed throughout the years, but comprises three core tenets– encouraging a broader interest in the discipline; fostering critical thinking skills applicable in everyday situations; and creating a positive learning environment. 

When asked about her favorite aspects of teaching, Hisey mentioned that she enjoys broadening her student’s “historical horizons” to subjects outside of the U.S. and the “west.” She understands that too often students’ understanding of Latin America has been filtered through things like the History Channel or “hobby” interests such as WWII which provide only a narrow understanding of the subject matter. This approach to teaching has been equally rewarding for students who often remark that the material covered in her courses is different from anything they have previously learned.

Congrats Aimee on a job well done!

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CATEGORIES: Graduate Students


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