Rahhal Recipient of 2020 MU Study Abroad Teaching Excellence Award

May 11, 2020

Tojan Rahhal, assistant dean for inclusive excellence and strategic initiatives and an adjunct professor of Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering, is among two recipients of the inaugural MU Study Abroad Teaching Excellence Award. Open to faculty in all academic disciplines, this award recognizes the exceptional and meaningful work carried out by faculty in global teaching, student learning and curriculum design for MU faculty-led study abroad programs. Dr. Robert Sites with the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources is the other recipient.

Portrait: Tojan Rahhal

The awards committee found that the recipients’ teaching methodology for study abroad courses strongly contributes to help MU students:

  • Become informed, open-minded and responsible people who are attentive to diversity across the spectrum of differences.
  • Seek to understand how their actions affect both local and global communities.
  • Address the world’s pressing and enduring issues collaboratively and equitably.

Dr. Rahhal was nominated for EDGEs—Engineering, Global Experiences, Diversity and Service—a study abroad course developed to close the gap in cultural competence preparation for engineering students. According to her nominator: “Dr. Rahhal’s creation and then implementation of this curriculum is key in making it work; she welcomes all students, sets the tone for the course, as well as encourages and facilitates conversations… Dr. Rahhal truly exemplifies the ultimate global teacher with innovative curriculum design and teaching approaches, not just in STEM but also in higher education in general… [The students] learned the importance of being globally responsible and conscious citizens, embracing diversity and inclusion to create a successful workforce and future, and using their skills in the local and global communities beyond the traditional sense to foster collaboration, inclusivity and equity.”

The awards will officially be celebrated May 27 during a “Celebration of Teaching 2020” event hosted by the Teaching for Learning Center, with remarks from Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies Jim Spain and Victoria Mondelli, the founding director of the Teaching for Learning Center.