Braude, Green, and Mustakeem win Emerson awards for teaching

Stan Braude, Leonard Green, and Sowande’ Mustakeem are among the St. Louis-area educators named recipients of a 2022 Excellence in Teaching Award.

Each year, Emerson Electric Co. recognizes a select group of innovative teachers in the St. Louis area through the Excellence in Teaching Awards program. At Washington University, school deans work with the Center for Teaching and Learning to identify outstanding teaching to nominate for the award.

In 2022, Emerson honors seven WashU faculty, including three in Arts & Sciences: Stan Braude, Leonard Green, and Sowande’ Mustakeem. All three award winners are exceptional teachers whose classes are perennially popular with students.

“Arts & Sciences has many excellent teachers, but these three faculty members have distinguished themselves as extraordinary educators through their innovative and highly successful teaching practices,” said Michael Wysession, executive director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and professor of earth and planetary sciences. “It is wonderful that these Emerson Awards give us a chance to recognize and honor these colleagues for their great teaching achievements.”

Stan Braude, Leonard Green, and Sowande' Mustakeem

Stan Braude, teaching professor of biology, is the world expert on naked mole-rat ecology, evolution, and behavior. Students who come to office hours find reminders of his years spent doing fieldwork around the world: bison dung, the cervical vertebrae of a giraffe, and a variety of rodent traps he designed to catch naked mole rats. His students cite his ability to build confidence and see students as equals as a major part of what makes him a successful teacher. In Arts & Sciences, Braude teaches courses about human anatomy and physiology, advanced wilderness medicine, Missouri’s natural heritage, the biology of dog breeds, and the woody plants of Missouri. In 2014, he was awarded the Arts & Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award.

Leonard Green, professor of psychological and brain sciences and of economics, studies choice and decision-making in humans and non-human animals. He is well-known for his practicum in applied behavior analysis that explores autism spectrum disorder and his popular Psychology of Learning class. Green is one of the developers of behavioral economics, a transdisciplinary field that combines the experimental methodology of psychology with the theoretical constructs of economics.

Sowande’ Mustakeem, associate professor of history and of African and African-American studies, invites students to explore race and history from unexpected angles in her perennially popular interdisciplinary courses. She teaches about slavery and memory in American popular culture, the history of African diaspora through film, and women and crime in American history, among other topics. Mustakeem wrote the award-winning book Slavery at Sea: Terror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage (2016).