Colleen Mitchell, PhD received the University of Iowa’s highest teaching honor

Monday, April 11, 2022

Colleen Mitchell, PhD, associate professor of Mathematics, received the University of Iowa’s highest teaching honor, the 2022 President and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence from the UI Council on Teaching.

Since Mitchell began working on the University of Iowa 16 years ago, she stood strongly behind her belief that math is for everyone. She has created equitable and inclusive spaces inside and outside the classroom for her students and mentees. Among the countless future teachers and researchers she’s mentored, she’s supervised 11 teaching practicum students. She currently serves as the director of the UI Sloan Center of Exemplary Mentoring, which supports underrepresented minority PhD students in STEM.

Throughout her professorship, Mitchell has created meaningful curriculum for students with a variety of backgrounds and learning styles. One of these curriculums is MATH:1260 PokéMath: The Mathematics of Pokémon Go ®. This general education course used the popular augmented game to introduce students to applied mathematics. She collaborated with the Iowa Veteran Education, Transition, and Supports office to develop Math Platoon, a twice-weekly tutoring program that aids military-connected students.

Congratulations, Dr. Mitchell!

Since its establishment in 2004, the President and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence has acknowledged instructors who have demonstrated a commitment to student learning and teaching excellence. Mitchell will receive a $3,000 honorarium.

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers about 70 majors across the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. About 15,000 undergraduate and nearly 2,000 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by faculty at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all Iowa undergraduates through the college's general education program, CLAS CORE. About 80 percent of all Iowa undergraduates begin their academic journey in CLAS. The college confers about 60 percent of the university's bachelor's degrees each academic year.