President Honors Laura Makey

President Haynes with Laura Makey President Karen Haynes with Laura Makey at the 2014 Outstanding Faculty and Staff Awards Reception.

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Laura Makey, lecturer in the department of liberal studies, receives the 2014 "President’s Faculty Award for Outstanding Lecturer."

Dr. Makey began teaching Geography 201, a core geography class, at CSUSM in 1998. Since then she has taught more than 3,000 students in approximately 85 sections of the class. And yet, according to students and colleagues, her lessons are always current and engaging.

“Class was not just a place to turn in assignments and take exams,” said one student. “We explored real world issues that were outside of many of our experiences. Understanding and learning took place simultaneously.”

Dr. Makey’s pursuit of helping students better grasp world issues led her to incorporate Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) technology in her teaching. GIS integrates hardware, software and geographical data to provide students with experiential learning opportunities that challenge and expand their critical thinking skills. Dr. Makey has also taken the lead in developing the up-and-coming Extended Learning Certificate in GIS, and launched an online version of Geography 201, which she teaches each semester.

In addition to her courses in liberal studies, Dr. Makey teaches in the Global Studies Department. She sits on numerous academic committees and is a regular reader and table leader for the Advanced Placement Human Geography exam. This not only serves the broader community, but also gives her insight into the abilities and experiences of incoming freshmen. According to a fellow faculty member, her work has had “a direct and meaningful impact on her students, on her department and on the University.”

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