After working hard for 21 years at North Dakota State, Mark Meister, professor and former chair of the department of communication, received the Outstanding Educator award for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS).
When receiving the award, Meister said he was humbled and gracious toward the college. “I’m really gracious that NDSU and the people of North Dakota give me the opportunity to teach and serve the state in a way that I feel is the best job in the world,” Meister said.
The award was created by the advisory board, and it is given to someone “who has been nominated by his/her peers and meets the criteria of outstanding excellence in teaching, service and research,” according to the NDSU website; Meister was nominated by his colleague Ross Collins.
“The award that I got from the college is something that I’ll cherish because I’ve devoted 21 years to the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.”
-Mark Meister, AHSS Professor
Meister explained how awards are nice to receive, but people who work in the College of AHSS feel as though the recognition of others is more rewarding.
“They’re (awards) nice to get. Frankly, I don’t need the recognition to know that I’m doing a good job in the classroom or that my research is significant, or that my service is important,” Meister said. “I get that recognition by having people tell me that I’m doing a good job.”
Meister is known around the College of AHSS as a blunt professor who tells students how it is. “I don’t beat around the bush, so when I respond to students in class and on papers — my comments are very direct, clear and authentic, and I believe students respond to that positively,” Meister explained.
Meister explained his different approaches toward the topics he presents. In his classroom he tends to apply the subject matter to something relevant in the students lives.
Meister said he finds teaching to be a “craft that is based on a legacy and humility.” He said he hopes that students find him credible and what he is teaching is important.
“I teach because it allows me to participate in a legacy, a very special legacy, of teaching, learning and transforming,” Meister shared.
Teachers that taught him during his school years inspired him to become a teacher himself. He spotlighted Rebecca Hail, his sixth grade English teacher that showed him the importance of reading and writing.
He was led to the communication field of teaching through his interest of speech and debate in his high school and college years.
“Communication is used strategically for purposes of argumentation and credibility and ethics and legitimacy,” Meister explained.
Meister continues to write two books about rhetorical leadership and cultural fascination with bingeing, to help further his research and success as a professor in the College of AHSS.