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2017 University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

Donald Snyder, Senior Lecturer, Media and Communication Studies

Since joining UMBC in 2008, Donald Snyder’s academic career has been marked by outstanding teaching, major contributions to the scholarship of learning, and exceptional service to the department and the university.

Snyder has played a foundational role in the development of the Media and Communication Studies Department. He has been a leader in developing the courses, assignments, and curricula for the program, which is now in its tenth year with more than 300 majors and 400 alumni. He has continued to advance the department’s curriculum, creating and conducting courses of all levels.

Through his innovative courses, Snyder has challenged students to reflect on their use of technologies and media. He was a recipient of two grants from UMBC, both of which were used to help develop coursework focused on establishing more complex frameworks for analyzing the impact of social media in society. Using department assessment data, he continually evolves his classes to encourage students to develop critical thinking skills and experiment with emerging technologies. Through the success of his creative teaching and learning approaches, Snyder was selected to serve on several important university committees to advance pedagogies.

Snyder is widely praised by his colleagues and students for his expertise in technology-based teaching practices. Working in partnership with the Faculty Development Center, he created the first UMBC Faculty Learning Community, which brought together faculty from across areas and disciplines to explore ways to improve and assess their pedagogies related to 21st century literacies. He is a pedagogical pioneer in the development of a wide range of high-impact innovative models for interdisciplinary education in the digital age.

He received his B.A. and Ph.D. from University of Maryland, College Park.