Stacey Barajas Receives Fintz Teaching Award

Early this May, Stacey Barajas was awarded the 2024 Fintz Award for Teaching Excellence in the Arts and Humanities for her exemplary IAH teaching during the 2023 calendar year.

Stacey Barajas

The Fintz Award, given by the Center for Integrative Studies, recognizes outstanding faculty who, in keeping with the goals of integrative studies, seek to engage students with arts and humanities ways of knowing and to assist them in developing critical thinking and effective communication skills. The members of this year’s Faculty Advisory Committee were unanimous in their appreciation of Barajas’ teaching materials and insistent on how well-deserving she is of this recognition.

Stacey Barajas teaches Spanish Language in the Department of Romance and Classical Studies. This well-deserved award acknowledges Barajas’ dedication to her students and her engaging teaching of Mexican culture for IAH.

Barajas calls teaching this course an “incredible journey” in that it has given her unique opportunities to communicate more complex ideas within cultural diversity than possible in other courses. Her teaching has allowed students to leave with a much deeper appreciation and understanding of Mexican culture.

A student in her IAH course says,

“I will take with me the importance of diversity and celebrating our differences. Also, the value of culture, as this shapes our lives and makes each individual special and unique from others.”

Many other students have greatly admired and taken her teaching to heart. Her diligence and respect for teaching is recognized by another student,

“[She] cared about her students even through an online course and it was extremely noticeable.”

For many, their love of the Spanish language has been rekindled and have been inspired to continue studying the language and culture.

Barajas not only was able to touch many students but has also cherished the experience of teaching an online asynchronous class. Specifically, she has appreciated the flexibility to teach while visiting her in-laws in Mexico City and being home with her bilingual children. She says,

“I get to live my passion for the Spanish language and cultural diversity every day with both my students and my children.”

Barajas and family

Barajas’ dedication, passion, and careful teaching methods have rightfully earned her this prestigious award. Her commitment to this course is greatly appreciated and her hard work does not go unnoticed.