Thomas G. Stockham Medal for Conspicuously Effective Teaching


The Thomas G. Stockham Medal for Conspicuously Effective Teaching

The Thomas G. Stockham Medal for Conspicuously Effective Teaching was established by the University of Utah in memory of Thomas G. Stockham, Jr., professor of electrical engineering, who is remembered as the father of digital recording. Dr. Stockham won an Emmy award in 1988 for his work on tapeless audio and editing systems. In 1994 he won a Grammy award for his “visionary role in pioneering and advancing the era of digital recording,” and in 1999 was the co-recipient of an Oscar award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for work in digital audio editing.

Among all of his awards, one of the most prized was an award that he received at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for “conspicuously effective teaching.” Dr. Stockham truly valued excellence in teaching, and the Stockham Medal was created to honor that legacy.


For full time graduate students who demonstrate “conspicuously effective teaching.” Candidates for the medal are nominated by their faculty advisors and mentors. The recipient of the Stockham Medal will also receive a $1,000 cash prize. A maximum of one award may be granted each year. Please note that the medal may not be awarded every year. Due: Friday, January 22, 2021.


Past Recipients


Jessica Chen – Communication Sciences & Disorders

Jessica received her AuD from the University of Utah in 2018 and is currently a PhD candidate in the Auditory Perception and Physiology Lab under Skyler Jennings. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and International Relations from the University of California, Davis. Due to her background in both research and clinic, her goals in teaching are to integrate theory with clinical practice and to teach students how to critically think about research in order to help them build a solid foundation for their future work as clinicians. She is passionate about involving students in her research to help break down misconceptions about research and to create teaching opportunities outside of the classroom. In terms of research, she is interested in understanding the physiological processes that may help people with normal hearing understand speech in noisy environments. Specifically, she is interested in how certain auditory reflexes may facilitate our ability to hear in noisy environments and what happens to these reflexes with age and/or hearing loss. Her clinical interests include vestibular diagnostics, cochlear implants, and neurosurgical monitoring. Jessica’s hobbies include drinking coffee, traveling, drawing, rock climbing, pilates, and traveling to find more coffee.


The Stockham Committee did not award the Stockham Medal in 2018. The medal may not be awarded every year.


The Stockham Committee did not award the Stockham Medal in 2017. The medal may not be awarded every year.


Heather Stone
Heather Stone

Heather J. Stone – Communication

Heather is a PhD Candidate with a dual enrollment in the Department of Communication and the Department of Writing and Rhetoric Studies. She has taught writing, speaking, and pedagogy courses in four departments, and has designed hybrid and online curriculums. She works as a Graduate Fellow for the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE), where she assists with the Cyber Pedagogy course, observes teachers in online and face-to-face environments, conducts workshops for teachers, and oversees the Tech Tips for Teachers subscription email. She has a passion for helping teachers see how technologies can enable rather than constrain their teaching. In her research, she studies insider/outsider social tension and the language people use to reconcile that tension, both while experiencing it and when remembering it later. Her current project is conducting oral histories with adult women about the social and religious experiences they had as teenage members of the LDS Church.

Honorable Mention

Sean McAfee – Mathematics


Image of Molly Heller
Molly Heller

Molly Heller – Modern Dance

Molly is a dance artist based in Salt Lake City. After re-locating to Utah from New York City in the winter of 2011, she appreciates the comparatively quiet streets and the stunning angularity of the Wasatch mountains. Molly’s movement research investigates performance as a cathartic act and the relationship between physical expression and emotional trauma. Her research is conducted as a solo practice, along side others in choreographic projects and it is interwoven into her pedagogical beliefs.

Prior to graduate school, Molly was on faculty at SUNY New Paltz (NY) and Dance New Amsterdam (NYC) and has guest taught for Middlebury College, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Creighton University (Omaha, NE), SaltDanceFest (University of Utah), Ririe-Woodbury’s 2014/2015 Professional Intensive (SLC), Boise State University and Balance Dance Company (Boise, ID).

Molly’s choreographic work has also been presented in New York, Utah and Idaho in venues such as: Gowanus Art + Production (NYC), Danspace Project at St. Marks Church (NYC), Movement Research at the Judson Church (NYC), Green Space (NYC), 2010 DUMBO Dance Festival (Brooklyn, NY), Balance Dance Company (Boise, ID), Boise State University, Sugar Space Studio for the Arts (SLC) and the Ladies’ Literary Club (SLC).

Molly holds an M.F.A. from the University of Utah where she received the Scott Marsh Mentorship Award (2014) as well as a University Teaching Fellowship (2013-2014). Molly holds certifications in Pilates and Reiki and is co-owner of SLC’s loose-leaf teahouse, the Tea Grotto.

Honorable Mention

  • Richard Haskell – Business Administration
  • Johanna Varner – Biology


Jennifer Y. Macias
Jennifer Y. Macias

Jennifer Y. Macias from the History Department is this year’s recipient of the Stockham Medal. The medal is named after the late Thomas G. Stockham, who is considered the Father of Digital Audio Recording and taught for many years at the University of Utah. The award is reserved for individuals who demonstrate conspicuously effective teaching.

Jennifer Macias was nominated for the award by Dr. Eric Hinderaker, who says “Jenn Macias is an unusually capable and committed instructor, already well on her way to achieving a very high level of pedagogical excellence. Jenn has demonstrated a command of the material, a maturity of judgment, and a level of classroom effectiveness that gives us enormous confidence in her ability.” Ms. Macias was presented with an engraved medal and will also receive a $1,000 cash award.

Honorable Mention

Cindy Huynh
Cindy Huynh
Lucas Matthews
Lucas Matthews

Due to the uniquely talented pool of nominees that were put forward this year, two student teachers were also selected for Honorable Mention: Cindy Huynh from the Department of Education, Culture and Society, and Lucas Matthews from the Department of Philosophy. We are inspired by the standard that these students have set for excellence in student teaching.


  • Timothy Edgar – Geography