Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies is thrilled to announce that two of our faculty have been awarded the prestigious 2022 Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Teaching Recognition Award for Early Performance.

Given to Syracuse University faculty who demonstrate excellence in teaching, only seven are awarded each year across the institution, making this recognition highly regarded. We are so proud to count these two exceptional professors as members of the iSchool family, and applaud their achievement in earning this honor.

LaVerne Gray is an Assistant Professor at the iSchool. Joining the faculty in 2019, she has since, among other accolades, designed and taught a new class in information justice and community engagement. Her deep commitment to social justice shines through her approach to teaching, and she continues to develop her own skills as a learner and a teacher. She has designed her own way of dynamically serving her students while contributing to her field at the same time.

Gray views the classroom as a sacred place; one that she can use to nurture the curiosity of her students. One of her colleagues at the iSchool, Professor Jian Qin wrote, “The impact that Gray’s new course on information justice and community engagement  generated on students is the best illustration of her teaching philosophy – a student-centered focus fostered by intellectual inspirations, intimate community environment, and critical lens.” Dr. Gray has impressed a lot of people in her relatively short time at Syracuse University.

Students come  to the classroom environment with varied experiences, and often are unaware of skills required for meaningful learning,” states Gray. “As a teacher, I can assist students each step of the way by believing that they are capable and are responsive to positive encouragement in the learning process.” She is tirelessly committed to improving her own approaches to learning and teaching. 

Radhika Garg has been an educator her whole life, and came to the School of Information Studies to continue the practice of her craft. Garg grew up in India and has been involved with tutoring peers and young people since she was only a grade-schooler herself. Her passion for teaching carried her into a career in higher-education in Europe and then Syracuse, NY. She has been with the iSchool since 2017.

Garg states, “One of the biggest joys I get as a teacher is the opportunity to learn from students and colleagues. Over the years, their experiences, their voices, and their feedback have helped me to improve my teaching.” Her determination towards self-improvement got noticed by her colleagues, and they have been supportive of this well-deserved award. 

Bruce Kingma, who nominated Garg for this award, explains her impact on the iSchool like this, “Radhika is an amazing teacher, researcher, and leader for the iSchool courses in user-centered design and cloud management. Her expertise in this area has been invaluable in creating a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Cloud Management. Our graduate students are grateful to have a curriculum in this area and the iSchool is grateful for Professor Garg’s leadership.”