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LC State’s Kammers earns Idaho GEM Innovative Educator Award

LEWISTON, Idaho – Bryce Kammers, an English instructor in the Lewis-Clark State College Humanities Division, has received the 2023 Idaho GEM Innovative Educator Award for Written Communications, presented by the Idaho State Board of Education’s General Education Committee and Capital Education Credit Union.

Kammers was honored at the Idaho General Education Summit in Coeur d’Alene on Oct. 12-13. It’s the fourth time a member of the LC State faculty has been honored in one of the six categories: Written Communication, Oral Communication, Humanistic and Artistic Ways of Knowing, Mathematic Ways of Knowing, Scientific Ways of Knowing, and Social and Behavioral Ways of Knowing. The awards started in 2019.

Faculty members from all four of Idaho’s four-year public colleges and universities, along with faculty from the state’s four public community colleges, are eligible for the awards.

The General Education Committee at LC State nominated one faculty member in each category, which included Kammers. Those nominates were forwarded to the state board’s General Education Committee, which selected the six winners.

In Kammers’ nomination, he discussed how he had students record podcasts during the COVID-19 pandemic to fulfill the speech requirements of the research writing class he was teaching. Students would write their essays and then record them as a podcast. He noted how the podcast format kept the talk concise and forced students to contextualize and introduce quotes. He said students also had to consider their audience and strive to balance the podcasts, making them as gripping as possible.

Kammers (far left) alongside other GEM Innovative Educator Award winners

In his award acceptance speech, Kammers gave credit to the students for doing a remarkable job. “In truth, I’m here because I have some wonderful students who have imparted their creativity and youth upon me and my lesson design,” he said. “They are the ones who keep my classes lively and fun.”

Kammers graduated from LC State in 2010 with an English degree with a secondary education endorsement. While at the college, he was the editor of the college newspaper, The Pathfinder, in 2008-09. He then earned a master’s in English from the University of Idaho in 2012. While at UI, he also was a teaching assistant.

In 2012, Kammers was hired as an adjunct instructor at LC State and served as a professional tutor at the college. He also was the Pathfinder’s faculty advisor during 2013-16.

In 2015, Kammers was hired as a full-time instructor at the college in the Humanities Division. In 2017, he was a summer cohort course developer and helped with the development of distance-learning classes.

This past year, Kammers was honored with the college’s Annice Edmundson Faculty Excellence Award, which recognizes a faculty member who meets the highest standard of academic excellence with a particular focus on excellence in teaching and mentoring students, as demonstrated by student and immediate supervisor evaluations.

For the GEM Award, the judging criteria included evidence the nominee effectively supports student achievement of the General Education Learning Outcomes, designs the GEM courses creatively/innovatively to effectively engage students, and enables non-majors to understand and apply disciplinary methods of inquiry (Ways of Knowing) to expand knowledge and solve problems. Other criteria included efforts to increase access and affordability, engagement in college/university Gen Ed initiatives, mentoring of faculty new to Gen Ed, and participation in statewide Gen Ed summits.