Pavlo “Pasha” Antonenko, associate professor of educational technology and director of the NeurAL Lab in the School of Teaching and Learning, has been appointed to the University of Florida Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars (ADTS).
This accolade recognizes Antonenko’s dedication to helping integrate cybersecurity education across communities and contexts.
“I felt like I was awarded this distinction because ADTS saw merit and potential impact in the cybersecurity-focused educational research agenda I proposed and saw that as an important problem that needs solving. Not through journal articles, but through interacting with the public, with the various communities that would benefit from increased awareness of cyber security strategies and tools,” Antonenko stated.
The highly competitive process requires applicants to display a record of superior teaching and research that has garnered national or international recognition. Antonenko applied with the encouragement of his colleagues: Thomasenia Adams, associate dean for research, Ana Puig, clinical professor and research director in the office of educational research and Kara Dawson, professor of educational technology in the School of Teaching and Learning.
Dawson is currently a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars. Antonenko attributes her encouragement to his decision to apply, noting that she felt he would make strong contributions to the academy.
“He studies and publishes about his teaching and integrates what he learns from his grants into his teaching as well,” Dawson stated. “This unique integration of exemplary teaching and scholarship epitomizes what the Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars is all about.”
Antonenko’s appointment will allow him to lead a cybersecurity awareness and educational speakers series. With topics from social engineering, cyberscams, social media security and online privacy, he intends to express the importance of cybersecurity to all lifelong learners.
Antonenko expressed his desire to make a more immediate impact. He feels that a speaker series is a better way to convey the importance of cybersecurity compared to a journal article or written piece.
Additionally, Antonenko is looking forward to working with the other distinguished members of the academy. “In my experience, the biggest and most important problems in society really benefit from a diversity of perspectives,” Antonenko said. He added that he believes that as an interdisciplinary group, they are better equipped to handle diverse challenges effectively and efficiently.
Excited for him to join the academy, Dawson stated, “I am thrilled, but not surprised, that Pasha won the award this year.” After serving his three-year term on the board, Antonenko will retain the title of Distinguished Teaching Scholar.
Antonenko is excited about his future with the academy and is looking forward to the Fall 2023 semester when his service as a Distinguished Teaching Scholar will officially begin.