January 28, 2019 - Author: Samantha Ward
Saweda Liverpool-Tasie has been given a 2018-19 Teacher-Scholar Award from Michigan State University, for her exceptional work and devotion to teaching. An associate professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (AFRE), Liverpool-Tasie teaches “The World Food, Population and Poverty” to undergraduates and co-teaches “Agriculture in Economic Development” to AFRE graduate students.
“It is a great honor to receive this university wide award — it feels great to be recognized for what you enjoy and love to do,” said Liverpool-Tasie.
Teacher-Scholar Awards are given to six faculty members every year, who early in their careers have earned the respect of students and colleagues for their devotion to and skill in teaching. The essential purpose of the award is to provide recognition to the best teachers who have served at MSU for seven years or less, taking into consideration that the most effective teachers will have their instruction intricately linked to and informed by their research and creative activities.
“Dr. Saweda Liverpool-Tasie is an excellent teacher-scholar who has successfully incorporated her impactful field research in development economics into her lectures and classroom activities in a way that makes learning exciting for her students,” said AFRE chairperson Titus Awokuse. “She embodies the spirit of the MSU Teacher-Scholar Award and is very well-deserving of the recognition.”
A Passion for Teaching
“One of my goals is to stimulate a love for learning about these issues and a realization of the important role that research can play in helping us understand every day decisions that economic agents make,” said Liverpool-Tasie. “My teaching always reflects my ongoing research with deliberate efforts to link these to classroom materials and activities.”
Both undergraduate and graduate students of Liverpool-Tasie are informed by developments and findings of her current research work, focused food safety issues that arise as food systems rapidly transform and domestic supply systems respond to meet these changes, specifically in Africa. Combined with the use of collaborative technology, these real-world examples make for effective and lively classrooms. In her undergraduate course, Liverpool-Tasie set up a real-time online debate between her students and students in a similar course in Ghana.
In Fall 2018, we succeeded in having our first live interaction between students in both classes,” said Liverpool-Tasie. “Such collaboration not only broadens the perspective of both sets of students, but also strengthens the links between AFRE, MSU, and institutions in Africa.
“Co-teaching AFRE 861 (a grad-level course on Agriculture in Economic Development) with Saweda has been one of the great joys of my career to date,” said AFRE assistant professor Nicole Mason. “Saweda has conducted cutting-edge research on a wide range of topics in development economics and she uses examples from this research in nearly every class session for AFRE 861. This really brings the material to life and helps students see how we can use economic theory to inform applied research that aims to improve people’s lives.”
Mentoring Graduate Students
In addition to teaching in her scheduled courses, Liverpool-Tasie acts as a mentor for many, including AFRE graduate students and researchers around the world. During her time as the president of the Africa section of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA), Liverpool-Tasie launched an innovative continent-wide initiative that paired African scholars with mentors at top research universities and centers.
“Mentoring takes time and requires a lot of effort but I believe it really pays off with high quality training and capacity building of young scholars,” said Liverpool-Tasie. So far, all of Liverpool-Tasie’s Masters and PhD advisees have won awards for their dissertations and theses — “my commitment to excellence in teaching is closely related to my commitment to excellence with mentoring and scholarship, and I hope to continue to grow that in the coming years.”
“Dr. Liverpool-Tasie is a brilliant and inspiring scholar with a natural ability to use her work to inspire the younger generation, and make herself available to mentor them,” said Guigonan Serge Adjognon, one of Liverpool-Tasie’s PhD advisees. “This award not only honors her great work, but encourages many younger scholars who look up to and take guidance from her every day.”
Liverpool-Tasie will be honored at the Awards Convocation on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, from 3:30-4:30 pm at the University Club.
Learn more about Liverpool-Tasie.