Deborah Gerner Innovative Teaching Award

The Deborah Gerner Innovative Teaching in International Studies Award honors the legacy of Misty Gerner as not only a fine scholar, but also as a passionate and dedicated teacher and mentor. Sponsored to carry her memory and mission forward by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers and the editorial board of the New Millennium Books in International Studies, the award is granted annually to an instructor who has developed effective new approaches to teaching in the discipline. Examples could include innovative case studies, teaching software, and simulations. Preference will be given to materials that can be easily adapted by other instructors. In keeping with Misty’s interests and commitments and the goals of the New Millennium Book Series, emphasis will be on pedagogy that engages students with issues of war, peace, identity, sovereignty, security, and sustainability—economic, environmental, or ethical—as they are evolving in the 21st century.


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  1. Recipients must be a current member of ISA
  2. They must have:
    1. Taken reasonable risk to invest time and energy into doing something new or different - e.g., innovative - in a class
    2. Reflected on the experience and taken the next steps of refining/enhancing the innovation to improve its effectiveness (e.g., response to referee/ evaluation)
    3. Shared the innovation with colleagues in some way (e.g., local campus workshops, modeling for Graduate Teaching Assistants, publication in appropriate venue, etc.)
    4. Proven teaching abilities (e.g., teaching award nominee/recipient, student evaluations, other)
    5. Developed classroom exercises that clearly engage students and bring the real world into the classroom
  • The recipient will receive $500 and a plaque, funded by sponsors who wish to contribute.
  • The award will be presented at the ISA awards ceremony by a Rowman & Littlefield representative and a member of the awards committee.
  • The award winner is selected by the Award Committee.
  • The Committee Chair is responsible for notifying the recipient of the award and encouraging the recipient to attend the ISA Annual Convention at which the award is to be presented so as to receive the award in person.
  • Committee vacancies are nominated by the incoming President of ISA and approved by the Governing Council.
  • The committee is made up of three members who serve staggered three-year terms..
  • One member of the committee must be from the ALIAS section.
  • The committee shall elect its own chair.

The deadline for nominations is October 21, 2021.

The committee is interested in expanding the base of the work honored by the award and we strongly encourage people to apply from a wide array of innovations in teaching – for example people who have developed innovative efforts in online teaching, global education, innovative research assignments, international travel classes, the evaluation of pedagogy, or service based learning.

Nominations should include a three-page cover letter that describes the nominee's innovative teaching achievements.  A three-page CV and up to two letters of recommendation may also be included.  Nominations should be sent by e-mail to all members of the Award Committee. 



Congratulations to Franklin Obeng-Odoom, the 2021 recipient of the Deborah Gerner Innovative Teaching Award! See the previous recipients below.

Year Recipient
2021 Franklin Obeng-Odoom
2020 Sebastian Kaempf
2019 Jamie Frueh
2018 Vanessa Borges
2017 Amanda Rosen
2014 Victor Asal
2013 John Foran & Sophia Benz
2012 Jonathan Wilkenfeld
2011 Rex Brynen
2010 Kent J. Kille, Matthew Krain, and Jeffrey Lantis
2009 Patrick James/ Abigail Ruane
2008 Pamela Martin/ Scott D. Sagan

Award Committee

Heather A. Smith | Chair
March 2020 - March 2023
University of Northern British Columbia

Silja Bara Omarsdottir | Member
March 2022 - March 2025
University of Iceland

Nora Fisher-Onar | Member
March 2022 - March 2025
University of San Francisco

Award Chairs, please review dates to ensure deadlines are met.

Key Dates