Radford University faculty member receives Commonwealth of Virginia’s top award for teaching excellence

Dr. Agida Manizade
Dr. Agida Manizade

Radford University Mathematics and Statistics Professor Agida Manizade is a recipient of the 2019 State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) Outstanding Faculty Awards. The Outstanding Faculty Awards are the Commonwealth's highest honor for faculty at Virginia's public and private colleges and universities. The awards, announced today (Feb. 18), recognize superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service.

Nominees for this prestigious award were selected by their respective institutions, reviewed by a panel of peers and chosen by a committee of leaders from the public and private sectors. In all, 86 educators were nominated for the 2019 awards. The group was narrowed to a field of 27 finalists before the final 13 recipients were chosen.

“Dr. Manizade is a truly outstanding faculty member who has dedicated her career to effective and inspirational teaching, as well as leadership, scholarship and service. She is truly deserving of this award,” Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. said. “Through her efforts, countless students and teachers have left her classroom with a greater understanding of the discipline of mathematics. Her scholarship, and that of her former, current and future students, exemplifies her excellent work and significant impact.”

At Radford University, Manizade is a leader in teaching excellence and research. She teaches courses at the undergraduate level and in the university’s Graduate Certificate Program in Mathematics, which offers an opportunity for in-service mathematics teachers in Virginia to earn a graduate certificate online.  Manizade has also demonstrated an extraordinary record of accomplishment in the scholarship of discovery through current research in mathematics and mathematics education that is based on her work with students in the online Graduate Certificate Program.

As a founding director and current co-director of the Secondary Mathematics Professional Development Center, funded by the Virginia Department of Education, Manizade has collaborated with NASA scientists and university faculty to develop the Radford University NASA Institute, a two-week summer program for mathematics teachers to gain hands-on experiences in simulation-based aerospace engineering. Program participants learn onsite at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia and receive training to effectively facilitate their students, as well as their colleagues’ knowledge in STEM, with focus on real-world applications of simulation-based mathematics.

“Dr. Manizade is an extraordinarily successful and productive faculty member in the Artis College of Science and Technology at Radford University, and her contributions extend well beyond Radford University and the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Artis College of Science and Technology Dean Orion J. Rogers. “She exemplifies faculty commitment to excellence in teaching, discovery, knowledge integration and service, as well as the mission of Radford University.”

In the past five years, Manizade has received three distinctive honors from Radford University. She was selected for the Artis Outstanding Faculty Award Scholarship in 2013 and the Radford University Million Dollar Circle award in 2014. That honor recognizes faculty members who receive a cumulative total of $1 million or more in external grants. Manizade has been awarded more than $2.2 million in external funding since 2010. Also, in 2017, Manizade received the Distinguished Creative Scholar Award, an honor that recognizes noteworthy original contributions to the body of knowledge in academe and rewards contributions that have a significant impact on effective classroom teaching. Manizade published 27 articles and conducted more than 70 conference presentations based on her research in mathematics teaching and mathematics teacher education, work primarily conducted within Radford University’s graduate programs in Mathematics Education.

“Dr. Manizade is truly a superb teacher. She has long been one of the best teachers in our department, and we are extremely fortunate to have her as a role model of what excellent teaching entails,” said Neil Sigmon, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. “Her dedication to improving the welfare of her university, her students, teachers, her profession, the Commonwealth of Virginia and our country is truly outstanding and admirable.”

During the 2017-18 academic year, Manizade served as a research and grants adviser, helping novice faculty who aspired to enhance their research programs and assisted them with external grant proposal applications. Based on the 2018 annual report of the university’s Office of Sponsored Programs and Grants Management, the proposal submissions by first-time grant writers increased by 117 percent.

Outside the university, Manizade serves as editor-in-chief for the Virginia Mathematics Teacher Journal. Under her guidance, the journal received the 2018 Publication Award for Outstanding Journal by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. It was the first time the Virginia-based journal won the national award.

Manizade also serves the community as the founding and current president of Radford Child Development, Inc. Under her leadership and through community engagement and collaboration, this organization achieved its goal of establishing a high-quality, educational childcare center in Radford, which celebrated its grand opening in 2016. Internships are available at the Radford Early Learning Center to Radford University undergraduate students from various programs.

Since joining Radford University in 2009, Manizade has demonstrated a remarkable record in teaching scholarship. She has developed five new courses and continues to encourage students to actively participate in scholarship and pedagogical inquiry. Each year, Radford University students successfully present their work with Manizade at professional conferences, a testament to her dedication to student success. In the last three years, 17 undergraduate and graduate students have presented their collaborative research at state and regional conferences in Virginia. In addition, five graduate students published their collaborative papers in peer-reviewed journals.

“I have come to know Dr. Manizade in the past 10 years, while preparing for the occupation of math specialist. Not only was she an endless source of content and pedagogical knowledge, but she also played the role of a motivator, cheerleader and mentor,” said Jamey Lovin, one of Manizade’s former students and a past president of the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics. “She is deeply committed to making learning with understanding a priority, not only in her classroom but also in the classrooms of other teachers she supports.”

Manizade earned her Ph.D. at the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in mathematics education at The College of William and Mary. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics at Baku State University in Azerbaijan.

Manizade is the 11th Radford University faculty member to be a recipient of the SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Awards. Previous Radford winners are: Jennifer Jones Powell (Teacher Education), 2015; Cliff Boyd (Anthropology), 2008; Donna Boyd (Anthropology), 2006; Mark Camphouse (Music), 2002; Robert Whisonant (Geology), 2000; Chester "Skip" Watts (Geology), 1998; Franklin Jones (Physical Science), 1996; Leonor Ulloa (Foreign Languages and Literatures), 1993; and Grace Toney Edwards (English) and Steven Pontius (Geography), 1990.

Feb 18, 2019
Chad Osborne