2016 Faculty Excellence Awards

Dr. Samuel Boerboom


Winston & Helen Cox Fellowship Award


SamDr. Samuel Boerboom has consistently proven himself as an outstanding and successful teacher, mentor and colleague. His course load ranges from 200-level introductory courses to 500-level seminar electives covering significant breadth in cultural studies and rhetoric.


Since joining MSU Billings in 2012, he has emerged as one of the most distinguished leaders in the Communication and Theatre Department. An early adapter of the TEIL classroom, he continually seeks new pedagogical strategies to meet students’ needs, earning him the endorsement for this year’s Winston and Helen Cox Fellowship Award.


“Dr. Boerboom is known for his positive, engaging nature and is a valued faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences and throughout the university,” CAS Dean Christine Shearer-Cremean said.


Samuel is deeply committed to rigorous, student-centered teaching. He said he strives to position students to “not just be recipients of messages, but to also be co-producers of those messages.”


“I ask students in a sense to swim upstream,” Samuel said. The reward he said is when students are empowered by taking ownership of their own learning.


“When students show mastery of the subject matter, when they are no longer just reciting facts, but analyzing and sharing data that’s meaningful to them—that’s rewarding.”


He advises more than 30 students and consistently receives among the highest teaching evaluations in the College.


One student noted that Samuel’s Introduction to Mass Media course was “One the the best, well-organized and influential classes I have taken.”


Another student who had taken Sam’s online Political Communication course said, “Professor Boerboom went above and beyond anything that could or should be expected from an instructor.”


Just as impressive are those evaluations from his peers: Dr. Boerboom is confident, organized, prepared and patient with student comments; he provides an environment in which students can learn to think critically about media, gender and sexuality issues; he creates a relaxed atmosphere so students can actively participate in sensitive discussions without any inhibitions.


In addition, to a strong service record, Sam’s record of scholarship is robust: this year, his book “The Political Language of Food” was published by Lexington Press. Sam was interviewed about the book for a January Huffington Post article. He has also authored three full-length scholarly entries in academic encyclopedias.