“I was at the conference when the first Animal Behavior Society teaching award was given in the early 1990’s,” Mathis said. “I remember thinking, ‘Wow—what a terrific award.’ Scientific societies focus heavily on promoting research, so it’s particularly special to be recognized for training and inspiring students.”
About the award
Mathis was nominated by current and former students. They wrote letters of nomination for her. After that, Mathis had to create a teaching portfolio.
The students keep Mathis on her toes, making students — and Mathis — better researchers.
“It’s so satisfying to see the light in students’ eyes when they grasp complex concepts or just share my enjoyment of the subject,” Mathis said. “It’s easy to maintain your enthusiasm for teaching when you can see students grow from raw beginners to professionals who are ready to make a difference in the world.”