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NMSU's Kenneth Martin is New Mexico Professor of the Year

Today in Washington, D.C., the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching named Kenneth Martin, professor of finance at New Mexico State University, the 2012 New Mexico Professor of the Year.

Portrait of Kenneth Martin
Kenneth Martin, a New Mexico State University professor of finance in the College of Business, has been selected as the 2012 New Mexico Professor of the Year through the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.(NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

The U.S. Professors of the Year program, administered by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, celebrates those who excel in teaching and positively influence the lives and careers of students. It is one of the most prestigious honors in undergraduate education.

"I am very honored and excited to have been named the 2012 New Mexico Professor the Year. I would like to thank my department head, Liz Ellis, my colleagues and my students, both past and present, for supporting me in my teaching efforts," Martin said. "I am also humbled in the knowledge that I have been selected for this award given the many excellent faculty that we have at New Mexico State University."

Martin is a 2009 recipient of the Donald C. Roush Award for Teaching Excellence. He was also the recipient of the Faculty Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching, presented by the College of Business' Faculty Council.

"As a senior faculty member, Ken Martin has remained fearless and relentless in his pursuit of improved student learning outcomes," said Garrey Carruthers, dean of NMSU's College of Business and vice president for economic development. "He is a fantastic example for others and an asset to the college."

Martin's outstanding teaching methods were acknowledged earlier this year with his attainment of the Teaching Innovation Award, which recognized his effort to "flip the classroom" by having students acquire content knowledge outside of class to achieve a higher level of learning.

"He never rests on his teaching accomplishments. Instead, he innovates with new teaching methods and approaches in his courses every semester," Lizbeth Ellis, department head for finance in the College of Business, said. "Whether it is the development of better practice assignments, or mini-video lectures online, he is always seeking to improve."

Providing his students with a "tool kit" for financial analysis that puts them into contention for the best finance jobs in the country makes Martin "a star in the world of higher education," according to Ellis.

Martin's teaching effectiveness and dedication to the craft is not only evident through praise from his superiors, but in the form of dozens of unsolicited letters from his former students.

"These students, after starting at their first professional job, typically write to say that they found themselves unique among their peers from very prestigious universities in that they were prepared to use their financial analysis tool kit to perform work from day one that others could not," Ellis said.

"All professors put a lot of work into their classes. And so to be recognized at such a high level, it's just very meaningful," Martin said. "The bottom line is, it means that I'm making a difference in students' lives, and I'm thankful that my students took the time and effort to support my teaching."

Other NMSU professors who have received the New Mexico Professor of the Year award are Wenda Trevathan, a professor of sociology and anthropology honored in 1994; George Larry Mays, a professor of criminal justice honored in 1997; Sherry K. Mills, a professor of accounting honored in 2002; Ricardo Aguilar-Melantzon, a professor of Spanish honored in 2003; Elise "Pookie" Sautter, a professor of marketing honored in 2005; and David Pengelley, a professor of mathematics honored in 2010.