Indiana State University Newsroom

University recognizes three with Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award

April 17, 2012

Indiana State University honored three educators with the Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award Tuesday (April 17) during the university's annual Faculty Recognition Banquet.

Named for a 19th century educator who helped to shape Indiana's public education system and served as the state's second superintendent of public instruction, the Mills Award recognizes Indiana State's most distinguished teachers.

Marylin Leinenbach, associate professor in the elementary, early, and special education department, joined the faculty of the Bayh College of Education in 2001. She teaches math methods to seniors, is a contributor to the TOTAL (Teachers of Tomorrow Advancing Learning) Program, and advises students. She is a co-director of the Center for Mathematics Education and her research centers around innovative instructional methods that impact beliefs and attitudes about mathematics and teaching.

"In my 39 years of teaching, I have always believed that children have different ways of learning that can demonstrate their knowledge and understanding in diverse ways. Now that I am at Indiana State University, I consider it a privilege to share my passion of teaching and mathematics with my pre-service teachers," Leinenbach said. "To be honored with the Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching award means the world to me as it recognizes not only my teaching but the important work of the faculty and staff in my department. I am very proud to be a member of the Bayh College of Education and especially the elementary, early, and special education department."

Susan Moncada, professor of accounting, has been a faculty member in the Scott College of Business since 1990. She primarily teaches principles of financial accounting, accounting systems, and not-for-profit accounting courses. Moncada is a registered certified public accountant in Illinois and has been a professional test item writer for the Uniform CPA Examination since 2002. She is also an associate editor of MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Learning), a role which involves investigating and reviewing technology-based teaching materials for use in the accounting classroom.

"To be honored with the Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award is an amazing experience and one of the high points of my teaching career," Moncada said. "Helping students learn is my passion. I am grateful to Indiana State University and in particular my department chairperson, Steve Lamb, for providing a work environment that has enabled me to have such an intrinsically rewarding career. I'd also like to thank my husband, Tom, and our daughter, Elizabeth, as well as my students, for their insights and feedback which have helped me to become a better teacher."

Aaron Michael Morales, associate professor of English and women's studies, joined the English department in the ISU College of Arts and Sciences in 2005, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in creative writing, contemporary literature, multicultural literature, and gender studies.

He also teaches in the university honors program, and regularly presents panels on fiction writing, Latino studies, and masculinity studies at several national and regional conferences. He teaches creative writing courses for local and national writing workshops and oversees student interns on publication projects, in addition to teaching literature courses at the Vigo County Public Library and short classes for prospective students who visit the campus during "Experience ISU" events each semester.

"Receiving the Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award is one of the most humbling and uplifting experiences I've had during my years teaching at ISU," Morales said. "It is exciting to be included among the ranks of so many life-changing professors who have positively impacted students' lives. All teachers strive to impress upon our students the value and usefulness of our subject matter, so knowing that I have made a difference or helped students change their perspective on the subjects I teach is a wonderful feeling. Because I firmly believe the process of teaching and learning is reciprocal, I thank my students for teaching me every day to be a better professor. This recognition is an absolute honor. I do not take it lightly. I express my gratitude to my students and colleagues who have deemed me worthy of this distinction."

Photos: - Marilyn Leinenbach - Susan Moncada - Aaron Michael Morales

Media contact: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or