Musicology Doctoral Student Honored with 2018 Excellence in Teaching Award

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Every year, the University of Georgia gives out Excellence in Teaching Awards to graduate students who have gone above and beyond in the area of teaching and best exemplify what it means to be a teacher.

Nominees for this award must have fulfilled the TA Policy, have taught at least once within the last two terms, and must be enrolled fulltime in the semester of application.

The 2018 Graduate School Excellence in Teaching Award winners are Physics student Alfred Farris, Romance Languages student Julie Hernandez, Health Promotion and Behavior student Chioma Kas-Osoka, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute student Viviane Klen Alves, and Hugh Hodgson School of Music student Mary Helen Hoque.

Mary Helen Hoque is the first award-winner for teaching in music at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music and the second Hodgson School graduate to receive the award.  Liz Whittenburg Ozment (Ph.D., Musicology, 2014) won for teaching in Women's Studies in 2014.

Mary Helen Hoque has experience as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, solo Instructor of Record, and is also a member of UGA’s prestigious Future Faculty Program (FFP).  She is the lead Graduate Assistant for TA development for the Center for Teaching and Learning.  An award-winning instructor, Mary Helen received the university’s Outstanding Teaching Award in Spring, 2016 and in the fall of 2017, she was nominated by UGA’s Center for Teaching and Learning for the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award, given by the Association of American Colleges and Universities to recognize exceptional teaching and leadership.


Her students only have great things to say about her. “She’s a gifted lecturer, fair grader, friendly and relatable, utilizes technology well, [and] moderates class discussions well.” Other students remarked upon her relatability, openness, and willingness to help students overcome difficulties with the class material. 

“Over the past four years she has been a leader in the HHSOM teaching community, challenging both her students and her fellow teachers to strive for excellence. Her work has had a positive influence on many in the HHSOM community, and we are very proud that she received this well-deserved recognition,” says Assistant Director Peter Jutras.


“She exemplifies UGA’s tradition of producing innovative and creative teachers who commit themselves to learning best practices in pedagogy and then adapt them to suit student needs and the demands of the content itself.  Her work at UGA demonstrates a holistic blend of teaching, research, and scholarship on Teaching and Learning that has greatly enriched our students’ experience in the classes she has taught,” says Susan Thomas, professor of musicology and women's studies.


“She consistently goes above and beyond the expected to enhance the learning environment,” according to Thomas.


Outside of the classroom, Mary Helen has been a leader in fostering an active community discussion of issues within Teaching and Learning and has made an impact on multiple levels in the HHSOM and at the University of Georgia.  This year she started a new series in the HHSOM, PEDTalks@TheHugh, where she brings students together with faculty leaders to discuss issues related to teaching in the music classroom or studio.  These events have brought students together from all parts of the HHSOM, something that had not previously occurred in graduate student programming here.  The success of these events has is a testament to all that Hoque brings to teaching and the HHSOM.


According to students and teachers alike, Hoque has the ability to combine research and pedagogy in a way that transforms the learning experience and gives them the opportunity to broaden their scope of looking at the world around them.