UMW News BureauAaron Richmond, a 1999 Montana Western psychology graduate, is the 2011 recipient of the Jane S. Halonen Teaching Excellence Award and the newly elected president of the Northern Rocky Mountain Educational Research Association. By Sharon Christensen [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="177" caption="Aaron Richmond."][/caption] Aaron Richmond, a 1999 Montana Western psychology graduate, is the 2011 recipient of the Jane S. Halonen Teaching Excellence Award and the newly elected president of the Northern Rocky Mountain Educational Research Association. The Jane S. Halonen award recognizes teaching excellence for early career practitioners for the first five years of teaching at any level. Nominated by peers for the prestigious award, Richmond applied to a division of the American Psychological Association (APA) for the award after being nominated by his peers for the award. The Society for the Teaching of Psychology, a division of the APA, holds an annual national competition for this and four other teaching excellence awards. Now in its 32nd year, the program awards recipients with a plaque and a check for $1,000. Capping off a busy week, Richmond also learned of his election as the president of the Northern Rocky Mountain Educational Research Association (NRMERA), an organization serving to “disseminate research conducted by faculty and graduate students of colleges and universities in the northern Rocky Mountain” region, according to the NRMERA website. If this news wasn’t enough, Richmond also learned of his early promotion and tenure by Metro State College of Denver (MSCD) where he is currently a professor in the education department. Richmond said his earlier experience in the University of Montana Western Department of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences helped prepare him to go above and beyond in his career. “The personalized education and motivation received (at Montana Western) were great motivators,” Richmond stated. “Getting to know professors intimately on a professional level and their genuine caring and interest in your education and well-being help you know you can succeed in graduate school or anything else.” Richmond did in fact go on to graduate school, earning a master’s degree from Montana State University after graduating from Montana Western. He then went on to earn his Ph.D. from the University of Nevada Reno. Among his varied educational knowledge, Richmond’s expertise is in learning styles, memory aids and memory development, online education, motivation, science education, adolescent education and at-risk youth education. Richmond’s extensive knowledge and passion for teaching earned him the respect of his colleagues as well as that of industry professionals. “For each class session, Dr. Richmond seeks to challenge, engage and encourage his students, sometimes to the surprise of students who expect to review information rather than actively engage with ideas,” William Douglas Woody stated in an article on the 2011 Teaching Excellence Award Winners.