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Excellence in Teaching: Alynna Lyon, Assistant Professor of Political Science

By Lori Wright, Media Relations
May 6, 2009

Alynna J. Lyon
Lisa Nugent, Photo Services

It’s difficult to imagine that Alynna Lyon once was terrified to be a college professor because she would have to teach in front of hundreds of students. Today she is such a popular professor that her classes always fill up quickly.

"I fell in love with teaching. The students responded to me so well in the first class I taught. I loved the dialogue in the classroom with the students. Their energy and enthusiasm was infectious, and I was so inspired. I knew from that moment that I wanted to teach," said Lyon, who teaches international politics.

Students say Lyon encourages conversation and debate. She challenges them and expects them to think beyond their comfort zone. Several credit her mentoring, dedication, and enthusiasm as a major influencing factor in their decision to study international relations, both as undergraduates and in graduate school.

"Education is an art and a science. I hope to present students with an international experience that allows them to connect with current international political debates. This includes preparing students to become active citizens of a diverse, democratic society in a technologically advanced world," Lyon says.

Lyon also revived UNH's Model United Nations, an international experiential learning program that gives students the opportunity to represent a country, study current geopolitical issues, and serve as diplomats who discuss current international policy during a yearly visit to the United Nations in New York City.

Members of the 2007 UNH Model UN Team wrote of Lyon: "Under the leadership of Professor Lyon, we won the Distinguished Delegation Award for our representation of Tanzania at last year's international conference. Her service exemplifies how an academic must involve herself in the broader academic lives of her students."

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