Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Elizabeth Kleiman

In recognition of her outstanding contributions to teaching and teaching activities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dr. Liza Kleiman was one of a select few instructors awarded a 2023-2024 Collegiate Teaching Award 

Dr. Kleiman is an Associate Professor of Instruction and a Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Computer Science department.  

Dr. Kleiman’s teaching objective emphasizes consistent student support both inside and outside of class. By creating a safe and inclusive environment, Dr. Kleiman promotes communication and active participation, so students feel comfortable asking questions and sharing their thoughts. Additionally, Dr. Kleiman delivers coursework in a meaningful manner, allowing students to understand the relevance of the material to their lives outside of the classroom.  

As Director of Undergraduate Studies and Chair of the CS Undergraduate Committee, Dr. Kleiman gathered faculty input and analyzed trends to lead the revision of the learning objectives for CS degrees and contributed to the revision of the Informatics curriculum. Dr. Kleiman has also worked with over thirty TAs over the past three years, holding weekly meetings to discuss best practices and student support and leading annual “How to be a Good TA” workshops for graduate students in CS.  

Dr. Kleiman is particularly interested in creating a welcoming environment for students of all backgrounds and fostering diversity within STEM fields. Dr. Kleiman is a Program Director and co-founder of ExploreU STEM, a one-week summer program that introduces middle school girls to programming basics. ExploreU offers participants a fun and collaborative introduction to science and mathematics, and over 250 young women have completed the program since its beginning in 2012. Additionally, Dr. Kleiman is also the Principal Investigator for REU – Computing for Health and Well-being. This program aims to provide research experiences to students from underrepresented groups with an emphasis on first-generation students.  

“[Dr. Kleiman] is a superb undergraduate mentor and program administrator and works hard to promote our discipline outside of the University and in particular to young women who might otherwise not pursue STEM careers.”

Professor Alberto Segre (Chair/DEO) 

“[Kleiman’s REU program] leadership effort has a major impact on the visibility of our department in educational institutions across the state of Iowa and promotes us [as] a destination for graduate studies. This of course is on top of the impact on the educational experiences of the participating students.”

Professor Kasturi Varadarajan (Past Dir. of Graduate Studies)

“[Professor] Kleiman doesn’t just provide answers and instead guides students toward personal discovery of solutions. Her insight provided clarity to problems that I originally thought too difficult. Her thought-provoking questions both taught and inspired me... She clearly loves helping students to learn and engage in the material. She truly wants to see me, and every student succeed not only in her class but also in future challenges.”

Braeden Harrell, former student 

“Her passion for promoting women in the tech field is clear, and she has inspired my passion in return. Women’s voices in the computer science field are few and far between, but Professor Kleiman is one of the loudest and most passionate.”

Isabelle Paulsen, former student