Department of Deaf Studies, Deaf Education names Joseph Mann Teacher of the Year

Joseph Mann, Instructor of American Sign Language, has been awarded Teacher of the Year for the 2021-2022 academic school year by the Department of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education.

“The DSDE undergraduate students were looking for a way to show their appreciation to the faculty who have worked tirelessly to accommodate the academic needs of our students during this past year,” said Dr. Zanthia Smith, Associate Professor of American Sign Language studies. “This last year has been difficult for our students and they recognize that faculty have had to become even more creative in how they present instruction for ASL in an online environment. I suggested a Favorite Teacher Award contest, which was whole-heartedly approved by the students.” joseph-mann

The contest ran for two weeks allowing students to submit their ballots both virtually and in-person. Smith said she imagined a toss-up between three faculty whom she knew to be favored by DSDE students, but she was “surprised and excited to find that Professor Mann ran away with a decidedly large number of the votes.”

Mann, who has been a part of the DSDE department for five years, said that he was also surprised at the win, “It feels great, this is a huge honor because the students are the reason I teach and why I come to Lamar University every day,” he said. “It is even more rewarding when our students go on and join the community as an interpreter, teacher or advocate for the deaf community.

Mann was presented with a Teacher of the Year award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the academic achievements and personal growth of ASL students. After what he called a challenging year, he said that he’s looking forward to bringing more innovative teaching methods to the classroom next fall, “I am bringing what I learned about technology into the new year to integrate back into my face-to-face classes. I know their skill level keeps getting better every year and they continue to raise the bar for me as teacher.”