Day: May 29, 2018

MAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Masters Thesis Award 2018 Nominee – Alexis Newton

Alexis Newton
Rhetoric, Theory and Culture

Alexis Newton 201708While in the Rhetoric, Theory and Culture Master’s program at Michigan Technological University, my thesis research focused on the relationships between hardware, software, and wetware – namely, looking at how video games virtually and physically effected the way we understand and engage with play. By defining and distinguishing between “gamespaces” (the virtual spaces players engage with to play a game) and “playspaces” (the physical spaces players inhabit while playing a game), I explored the various ways in which hardware constrains, encourages, and/or politicizes play. This research not only guided my work as a student, but also informs my work as an instructor of Rhetoric and Composition, where I focus on teaching students to be critical readers and writers of culture, both popular and otherwise. In the future, I plan to expand upon my thesis work and explore how these concepts apply to and flourish specifically in museum and gallery spaces.

MAGS Excellence in Teaching Award 2018 Nominee – Nadun Dissanayake

Nadun Dissanayake
Mathematical Sciences
Nadun Dissanayake 201801

I’m a PhD Student in Computation and Applied Mathematics at MTU. I am also a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of Mathematical Sciences teaching Pre-Calculus during fall and Calculus II during spring. Teaching is my favorite hobby because I enjoy being with students and helping them. Mathematics is a subject students often struggle with, and I love to teach mathematics in a way that makes sense to students. I interact with students in and outside of class and make them work hard. The students at MTU are very talented and smart, and I consider myself lucky to teach them. I want every student to reach their full potential. Teaching well raises the standards of my university and department, and I always keep that in my mind when I teach. We all have a responsibility to represent our university well and to produce successful students from our classes. I consider teaching to be not just a job, but the greatest service to the world.