President's Excellence in Teaching Award: Rob Maher, Spring Awards of Excellence, Academic Year 2021-22. Portrait of Rob Maher

Rob Maher

Rob Maher has received the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award, which recognizes faculty who have made exemplary contributions to instruction and student learning. The award carries a $2,500 honorarium and is sponsored by the President’s Office. 

Maher, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in MSU’s Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering, is known as a devoted teacher and mentor who inspires students by widening their perspective. In classes that blend engineering fundamentals with analytical techniques and hands-on experience, students comment that Maher also weaves in lessons about life skills and the ethical responsibilities involved in engineering. “Maher truly teaches in a way that allows the exploration of topics that crisscross through the world,” commented one former student, which “makes engineering real and so much bigger than just math and science.” 

An expert in audio signal processing and forensics who recently wrote an acclaimed textbook on the subject, Maher worked with MSU’s School of Music to create a unique cross-campus course in which music and engineering majors collaborate on interdisciplinary electronics projects, making him a role model for other faculty on how to creatively engage students with subjects outside their majors.  

As an enthusiastic member of the Classroom Committee, Maher is a key supporter of new classroom and instructional laboratory configurations at MSU. He has helped transform academic advising to provide more personalized service to students in his department and across MSU, and he is known as a solid supporter of female students underrepresented in the field. 

“Maher is able to teach the core of a subject while at the same time getting students excited by giving the broader context,” said a former student and undergraduate researcher. “This is the essence of excellence in teaching.”