Fulltime Faculty Member Honored with 2023-2024 Excellence in Teaching Award


Fulltime Faculty Member Honored with 2023-2024 Excellence in Teaching Award

Monday, June 3, 2024
madhavi shah in gazebo

Dr. Madhavi Shah, Raritan Valley Community College Associate Professor of Biology, has been awarded the inaugural Fulltime Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award for 2023-2024.

The award acknowledges and recognizes the outstanding performance of a fulltime faculty member who demonstrates excellence in instruction, provides outstanding mentorship and advisement to students, and inspires student success. Characteristics of excellence that College community members were encouraged to consider when submitting their nominations are: (1) command of their subject matter and knowledge of advances in the field; (2) use of high impact, innovative, and creative pedagogical approaches in teaching style; (3) promotion of a wide range of ideas and the creation of engaging, inclusive classroom environments; and (4) sustaining relationships with students outside the course experience. To be eligible, faculty need to be in good standing and have completed at least three years of fulltime teaching at RVCC.

Sharing the reasons that Dr. Shah received the award, Dr. Karen H. Bearce, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, said: “The committee felt that her nomination showcased the hard work that underpins the characteristic of the award. Her dedication to students and academic excellence has made a positive impact on the lives of many here at RVCC, and I am sure will continue to do so in the future.”

“As one nominator wrote about her: ‘Madhavi is fully committed to her students and finds multiple ways to increase student engagement in her BIOL 101/102 and GEOL 157 courses… Her students know that they won’t be able to sit and passively take notes in her course. They will be up and out of their seats carrying out role playing exercises to model and understand biological processes, collaborating with group mates to respond to review questions on the classroom white boards, and applying their knowledge to biology topics in the news. She has converted GEOL 157 to an OER textbook and completely revamped the online version of the course to promote substantive student engagement…She has spearheaded efforts to investigate OER textbooks and low-cost courseware options for the General Biology sequence. Madhavi goes so far above and beyond the baseline requirements of her job because she is truly passionate about supporting students and seeing them succeed. Her commitment is truly an inspiration to her students and colleagues alike.’”

Dr. Shah, who was born and raised in the Gujarat state of India, has been teaching at RVCC for eight years. After immigrating to the U.S., she pursued her bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in the field of microbiology and geology at Rutgers University.

At RVCC, her work focuses on instruction strategies to foster student retention and success in introductory biology and geology courses. To achieve this, her teaching approach emphases the effective use of technology for student engagement and meaningful discussions both inside and outside of class. Dr. Shah is involved with Access2Success and DEI initiatives, as well as curriculum development to create an inclusive classroom and nurture a growth-mindset in her students. She is passionate about engaging students in research either via literature review or wet lab projects to expand on their knowledge and scientific interests.

Dr. Shah also has been active in the College community, serving as the CTLS Pedagogy Fellowship, organizing the STEM annual Student Poster Session, and co-founding/co-organizing the C2 Summit for Pedagogical Advancements in STEM.  



June 3, 2024

Media contact: Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383