Lemos earns Paul College's 2023 Excellence in Teaching Award for Lecturer Faculty

Tuesday, October 3, 2023
Scott Lemos stands outside his office at Paul College.

Scott Lemos was recently awarded Paul College's 2023 Excellence in Teaching Award for Lecturer Faculty.

For Scott Lemos, every course is an opportunity for both himself and his students to learn and grow together.

Lemos, a lecturer in the management department, has developed a passion for research and curriculum development. His ability to do both effectively recently earned him the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics 2023 Excellence in Teaching Award for Lecturer Faculty.

Professor Peter Lane, chair of the management department, nominated Lemos for the award, highlighting his ability to transform the curriculum of introductory courses, and positive teaching evaluations from students who praised Lemos for teaching style and engagement.

“Scott has taken what are typically relatively dry, lecture-driven courses and designed them in a way that maximizes student interaction with the material, each other and the instructor to both build community and drive higher-quality learning,” Lane wrote in his nomination.

With courses like Introduction to Business and Principles of Microeconomics, Lemos acknowledges the importance of quickly capturing the attention of large classes of first- and second-year students. To accomplish this, he has crafted literacy-based courses that focus on depth over breadth, allowing students to go deeper into certain concepts. 

“Every single topic that we work through over the semester is not founded purely around the traditional textbook treatment, but rather it’s based on a collective set of resources that I curate semester by semester,” Lemos says. “I change it a little bit, just to fit what’s happening in the news right now, and I think that makes it far more engaging.”

This means a course tackling the topic of data-driven decision-making could start with a short explanation of the difference between data and information but transition into an active  classroom setting, where students are tackling multiple questions and problem-solving assignments in real time. Many of the assignments are writing-intensive.

“During that time, I get to see all that work take place, all those ideas and responses come together,” Lemos says. “This means that for over an hour, there was a profound level of collective engagement on a specific topic.”

While Lemos enjoys reviewing research about student learning and effective teaching, he says the best research comes from the classroom, where he can collect data on which assignments are resonating with students. This not only helps him adjust his courses, but it’s research that can be shared with the larger academic community.

Lemos said it was humbling to win the Excellence in Teaching Award and he hopes to continue to have a voice within the Paul College community.

“It’s important to create environments where students want a challenge and recognize that a challenge is meant to help them, both in terms of their success as a student and development as a young professional,” Lemos says. “We need to focus on how we’re engaging students in and out of the classroom, not just the task of teaching through a textbook.”

Lemos is in his ninth year of teaching at UNH, including two years as a graduate teaching fellow for the economics department. He spent two additional years as a lecturer for the economics department before moving to the management department.

Looking ahead, Lemos wants to explore how artificial intelligence and large language models can be integrated into the curriculum to benefit learning.

Micky Bedell | Paul College