The Golden Mustangs, SMU alumni who graduated at least fifty years ago, have established an award for the advancement of teaching and learning.
This award of $1000 is given each year to a junior, tenure-track faculty member, whose teaching is consistently excellent; whose courses reflect thoughtful curricular development; and whose scholarship makes a meaningful contribution to the discipline and to student learning.
Assistant Professor Stephen Sekula
Department of Physics
This year’s recipient of the Golden Mustang Outstanding Faculty Award, Stephen Sekula, joined SMU’s Physics department in 2009. Since his arrival, he has showed outstanding dedication to teaching both inside and outside the classroom. His love of teaching and physics both show in his teaching philosophy: “the ideas, principles, and findings of science (and, specifically, physics) should be available and accessible to all people.” In the classroom, this is reflected in the array of teaching methods that Sekula employs. He uses class time in an interactive and participatory way that allows students to see physics in action. For example, he uses a simulator that demonstrates principles in a video game-like way; he also has students create and test hypotheses in that simulator and in the real world; and he uses probing questions to stimulate both interest and critical thinking. As one student commented, “He gets excited about the material, and can make anything interesting.” And here’s a comment any of us would love to hear about our teaching and our subject: “I found a love for physics through this professor.”
Click here to see a list of previous recipients.