As part of Spring Convocation, the Office of the Provost asks for  nominations for the Teaching Innovation Award. The award is designed to honor faculty who have incorporated outstanding innovative teaching practices into their classes at Montana State University.

2020 - Congratulations to MacDonald Burgess!

Megan Wickstrom

MacDonald Burgess, assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, won the Teaching Innovation Award. He will receive a $2,000 honorarium.

Burgess’s nominating committee calls him “a down-to-Earth instructor who intertwines science with community engagement opportunities for students.” Burgess directs a 12-week summer internship program for students at MSU’s Towne’s Harvest Garden and is involved with the Sustainable Foods and Bioenergy Systems program in the College of Agriculture. In the past five years, more than 100 students have taken advantage of those programs to learn skills in soil and plant management while running a small farm business. Towne’s Harvest Garden hosts numerous collaborative projects, including partnerships with MSU’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management programs.

Learn more about MacDonald's work and all of the awardees

Click here to see all past recipients

The selection committee evaluates nominees on the following criteria:

  • Evidence of innovative and/or novel teaching practices that have been incorporated within the past three years.
  • Relative comprehensiveness of scope. The innovation must have involved changes in the way a subject is taught. For example, an activity that transpires in the course of one class period does not have the same influence as a pedagogical strategy that evolves over several class periods or an entire course.
  • Measurable impact on teaching effectiveness, student success and/or retention.
  • Potential or realized widespread use within or across disciplines.


Innovative practices will be expected to be grounded in best practices of the college and university teaching profession and/or the particular discipline.

Eligibility. To be eligible, individuals must be current tenure track or non-tenure track faculty who have completed a minimum of three years of teaching at MSU-Bozeman. Not eligible are current members of the selection committee and previous winners of the award.

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Past Recipients

2019    Megan Wickstrom, Mathematical Sciences Learn more about Megan's work and all of the awardees

2018    Graham Austin, marketing, Meta Newhouse, graphic design, and Mary Stein, sustainable food and bioenergy systems

2017    Mike Babcock, Psychology

2016    Brent Rosso, Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship