Indiana State University Newsroom

Nail, Stofferahn receive Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award

April 21, 2017

Indiana State University faculty members Melissa Nail, professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, and Steven Stofferahn, associate professor of history, were honored with the Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award.

Named for a 19th century educator who helped 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. The award was presented Thursday during the annual Faculty Recognition Banquet.

Nail joined the Bayh College of Education faculty in 2001. She teaches undergraduate methods courses and graduate level education classes, has published numerous papers and serves as an assessment reviewer at both the state and national level for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). At Indiana State, Nail serves as a Professional Development School liaison for Fuqua Elementary, is on the college's assessment committee and is a First Sycamores Faculty Mentor.

"The honor of the Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award is a lifetime achievement award for educators at Indiana State University, and I am overwhelmed to have been selected as a recipient for this prestigious award," Nail said. "Teaching and learning are my passion. The amazing thing about teaching my students is that, while I challenge them to work hard, learn and grow, they continually meet my highest expectations and, likewise, challenge me to work harder, learn more and grow into a better teacher. I humbly thank the university and my students for this high honor."



Since joining the State faculty in 2004, Stofferahn has taught a wide variety of classes on medieval, ancient and early modern Europe, as well as global history surveys and honors seminars. His published works, including several articles and a co-edited book, focus principally on the early Middle Ages. Having served the university as a faculty fellow for the Center for Community Engagement, coordinator of the College of Arts and Sciences' Community Semester and member of the Faculty Senate and Faculty Affairs Committee, he is currently the interim chair of the department of history.

"I am profoundly honored to receive this award. When I got the news, so many good memories of students, classes, discussions, field trips, presentations and projects flashed across my mind. How can 13 years have gone by so fast? It gets you pretty excited about what future classes might have in store," Stofferahn said. "Almost every day I leave class feeling even more energetic and optimistic than when I arrived. I know that was true for my own mentors, and I think it was because they not only believed in what they were teaching, but also respected and cared about their students. I've always tried to live up to that standard, and the longer I teach, the more convinced I am that history helps us find our way in the world. So when my students take a close look at how people have responded to challenges in the past, I think most of them discover that life could always be a lot harder, but that they can make it a lot better, too. That can be really powerful."


Photo: - Melissa Nail

Photo: - Steven Stofferahn