Environmental Science & Policy Faculty Member Joanna Goger Awarded Provost’s Excellence Award for Professional Track Faculty

Recognized at University of Maryland Faculty & Staff Convocation for Excellence in Teaching

Image Credit: Stephanie S. Cordle/University of Maryland

September 20, 2021 Andrew Muir

The University of Maryland (UMD) held its 38th annual Faculty and Staff Convocation on Wednesday, September 15 at the Memorial Chapel to recognize 26 members of the UMD community for their service and contributions. Among those celebrated was Joanna Goger, senior lecturer with the Environmental Science and Policy Program (ENSP), who was awarded the Provost’s Excellence Award for Professional Track Faculty (PTK) in Teaching. 

Goger brings a passion for environmentalism and undergraduate education to her role, and a commitment to support fellow professional track faculty as a member of the campus teaching community. An educator, confidant, and leader, she motivates many students in her courses and the sustainability studies minor to pursue the ENSP major and career field.

“Joanna is an outstanding example of the kind of teacher who students thirst for: challenging, interested in their well-being, and enthusiastic about the material,” says Angela Mazur-Gray, ENSP’s assistant director. Goger graduated from Duke with a B.A. in history and began her career as an environmental analyst before earning her juris doctor degree with a concentration in environmental law at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She worked as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice until 2003, when she began teaching in the College of Agricultural and Natural Resources (AGNR).

She became a full-time lecturer a few years later and was promoted to senior lecturer in 2017. She regularly teaches specialty upper-level courses, packing her presentations with easily digestible information and thought-provoking questions. Goger led the redesign of the Capstone course in ENSP; co-directs the sustainability studies minor, one of the largest on campus; advised a student team in the Gemstone program; and devotes considerable time to mentoring students interested in pursuing a career in environmental law.

Alums rave about her impact: “I plan on attending law school next year, and my decision stems from the first day I took ENSP102 and was inspired by Mrs. Goger’s career in law,” says one.

She has parlayed her knowledge of policy and the legal system to develop the PTK policy of her unit, across AGNR, and the rest of campus. Goger has mentored other PTK faculty in their drive to promotion, and chaired the first and continues to serve on the AGNR Appointments, Evaluation, and Promotions committee.

“She has worked tirelessly for the program, college, and university and is the epitome of what a PTK teaching faculty member should be,” says Joseph H. Sullivan, professor and associate dean in AGNR.