The 2016 West Virginia University Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching was presented to six inspiration WVU faculty members, including Joshua Hall, associate professor of economics at the College of Business of Economics.
Hall and five other honorees received a $5,000 honorarium from the WVU Foundation, and were recognized by WVU President Gordon Gee, Provost Joyce McConnell and Cindi Roth at the faculty and staff awards dinner on April 6 at Blaney House.
Hall sets himself apart by his emphasis on instruction outside of the classroom. He has co-authored 51 publications with dozens of his former undergraduate and graduate students. He is also a leader and innovator who is committed to reshaping and transforming how economics is taught. He has published extensively in the field of pedagogy research, establishing him as one of the nation’s leading scholars on economic education.
"What I like most about teaching is when – especially with economics – is a lot of the results are counterintuitive, or there’s what I’d call a hidden order behind things. Getting people to see that, is like seeing scales falling from their eyes,” Hall said. “When you see that happening, who doesn’t want to have that happening more.”
“None of the people who won, won because they suddenly became great teachers – it’s about having an institution and a college that supports effective teaching. I published my first article on teaching as a graduate student here, and I had the opportunity to learn from and observe fantastic teachers during my time as a TA. I would argue this honor is a culmination of all of that – picking up little tips and hints along the way.”
Hall was also the recipient of the College’s Award of Distinction in Teaching (full-time) in 2015.
The WVU Foundation established the awards in 1985 as a way to celebrate faculty who have established patterns of distinguished teaching and exceptional innovation in teaching methods, course and curriculum design and instructional tools.
“What I like most about this institution is that we are all very optimistic, and we know we’re going to do great things – it may be President Gee’s influence, but it’s nice to be a part of an institution in which, while we aren’t Ivy League or have that kind of money, we have optimism,” Hall said. “You feel like, if you are doing good things, the University is going to try to help support you do more the things you are good at.”