The Catholic University of America takes immense pride in the dedication and innovation of its faculty members. As part of an enduring tradition that celebrates excellence in pedagogy, we are delighted to announce the recipients of the 2024 Provost Awards for Teaching Excellence. These educators have been recognized for their exceptional commitment and creativity in teaching, significantly enriching our students' academic journey.

Full-Time Faculty Awards

Full-Time Faculty Awards Ceremony

Full-Time Faculty Awards Ceremony on April 17, 2024. From left to right: Provost Dominguez, Dr. Gregory P. Behrmann, Dr. Jason H. Davison, and Dr. Katherine L. Havanki. (Patrick G. Ryan/Catholic University)

Dr. Gregory P. Behrmann, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, was honored with the Overall Teaching Excellence Award. This award recognizes faculty who have excelled in teaching for over 10 years. Dr. Behrmann has more than 20 years of industrial experience in optical engineering, micro-fabrication, and medical device manufacturing. Dr. Behrmann is the Director of the Grand Challenges Scholars Program and Technical Director of the Engineering New Frontiers Summer Camp.

Colleagues and students praise Dr. Behrmann for his ability to integrate theoretical concepts with real-world applications, significantly enhancing the learning experience. According to Dr. John Judge, Dean of the School of Engineering, Dr. Behrmann is consistently rated by students as one of the best instructors in the School. His profound dedication to student success is evident in his teaching and mentorship, helping students navigate their careers and secure internships.

Dr. Jason H. Davison, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, received the Advancement of Teaching Award. This accolade is bestowed for creative and innovative contributions to teaching, such as curriculum development and introducing new courses. Dr. Davison's dedication to student-centered learning and his efforts to integrate practical experiences into theoretical coursework have earned him acclaim among students, who describe his teaching as transformative. Dr. Davison’s research interests include water cycle modeling, environmental policy, continental-scale hydrology, and climate change.

Dr. Jason Davison has significantly enhanced the Civil Engineering curriculum through his "Applied Steel" class, where he imparts welding and fabrication skills while fostering a deep enthusiasm for the subject. This class has gained popularity not only among engineering students but also across other majors. In his "Hydraulics" course, Dr. Davison frequently sets up lab experiments, helping students understand complex concepts more effectively. Furthermore, he has established a makerspace that benefits students from various academic levels and disciplines, launched multiple educational research projects, and has organized important events such as the hard hat event and senior design showcases.

Dr. Katherine L. Havanki, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry, received the Teaching Excellence in Early Career Award. This award honors faculty who have excelled in the teaching role and have taught at the university for less than 10 years. Since joining the university, Dr. Havanki has reimagined the chemistry curriculum, transforming introductory courses from hurdles to gateways for student success. Dr. Havanki’s expertise includes eye-tracking methodologies, technology in the classroom, curriculum development, machine learning applications in education, discipline-based educational research, and chemistry education research.

Peers and students celebrate Dr. Havanki's rigorous yet welcoming approach to teaching, highlighting her innovative use of technology and research-driven methods to understand and enhance student learning experiences, especially during challenging times such as the transition to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Part-Time Faculty Awards

Part-Time Faculty Awards Ceremony

Part-Time Faculty Awards Ceremony on April 11, 2024. From left to right: Provost Dominguez, Mr. Eric Fontaine, Mr. Leon Hutton, Associate Dean Twila Lindsay, and President Kilpatrick. (Patrick G. Ryan/Catholic University)

Mr. Eric Fontaine, J.D., Adjunct Instructor in the Metropolitan School of Professional Studies, was recognized with the Teaching Excellence in Early Career Award. Mr. Fontaine's professional background in law and human resources enriches his teaching of human cultural diversity, conflict resolution, world literature, and human resource management. Mr. Fontaine has been a Human Resource consultant since 2001, working with several Fortune 200 corporations on diversity awareness and employee retention programs. He served as Director of Human Resources for several organizations, including the American Red Cross. Mr. Fontaine spent a dozen years in the IBM Corporation as a human resources manager, prior to which he worked in the General Counsel and the EEO department for several federal agencies.

Students praise Mr. Fontaine for his profound impact on their personal and academic growth. His dedication to student engagement and innovative teaching methods ensure that each class is a lesson and a lasting learning experience.

Mr. Leon Hutton, DBA, MBA, CPA, Adjunct Instructor in the Metropolitan School of Professional Studies, was honored with the Overall Teaching Excellence Award. With a distinguished career in federal financial management and military service, Mr. Hutton brings a wealth of real-world knowledge to the classroom. One of the highlights of his military career was acting as the principal financial advisor to the team negotiating cost issues with representatives of the former Soviet Union, pertaining to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. After retiring from the Army, Mr. Hutton held financial management positions in two Inspector General Offices, the Transportation Security Administration, and the US Coast Guard. He is presently the deputy financial management division chief with the Office of the Chief Financial Officer at the US Citizenship and Immigrations Agency.

His students commend his engaging teaching style and his genuine concern for their success. Mr. Hutton's unique blend of expertise and approachability creates a dynamic and interactive learning environment that students find both inspiring and accessible.

Celebrating Our Values Through Teaching

As we celebrate these distinguished educators, we also celebrate their values: a passion for innovation, a commitment to student success, and a dedication to academic excellence. Their exemplary work not only honors their professional achievements but also ignites the intellectual curiosity of our student body.

Please join us in congratulating our 2024 Provost Awards for Teaching Excellence winners, whose contributions continue to shape the legacy of excellence at The Catholic University of America.


Diego A. Boada, Ph.D., EMBA, is an instructional designer at CTE. He specializes in finding scalable solutions for learning and performance problems in multicultural environments. Dr. Boada has designed online learning experiences for universities, startups, and organizations globally; consulted for the Inter-American Development Bank; and collaborated with Silicon Valley leaders.