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NSA Professor Honored With Annual Hamming Teaching Award
U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Michael Ehrlich

NSA Professor Honored With Annual Hamming Teaching Award

By MC2 Tom Tonthat

Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Department of National Security Affairs Associate Professor Naazneen Barma is the recipient of the 2018 Richard W. Hamming Teaching Award, presented during the Quarterly Awards Ceremony, Sept. 11.

“It’s an incredible honor,” said Barma, who teaches a range of classes in political economy. “I think there are a wide range of excellent teachers on this campus. I think we’re really focused on the students and thatt’s really important to me and the work that we do.”

The Hamming Award recognizes an NPS faculty member who achieved excellence in the classroom, thesis supervision, and in contributing to student education beyond the classroom. Barma said that she tries very hard in her teaching to touch on all three elements with NPS students.

“I’ve been incredibly fortunate over the course of my own education to have had outstanding teachers who imparted to me their enthusiasm for the subjects they were teaching,” said Barma. “That’s become my abiding principle when I teach, to get across my excitement and passion for the topics that we’re covering. I think that’s something the students really respond to.

“Teaching economics in a national security program can be challenging because I have to make the case for how economics is relevant to security,” she continued. “I constantly emphasize how theory relates to contemporary issues that are in the news. The teachers that I remember were really able to show the significance of what I was learning.”

Barma’s work extends from the classroom as co-director of Bridging the Gap, a multi-university initiative to promote scholarly contributions to public debate and decision making on global challenges and U.S. foreign policy.

“It’s an everyday pleasure and privilege to be teaching NPS students,” said Barma. “They are dedicated public servants. To be able to engage with them on topics that I know that they’ve lived and experienced is really valuable to me as a teacher.”

The Hamming Award is named after NPS professor emeritus Dr. Richard W. Hamming. Hamming's dedication to teaching and research are well known, specifically in the mathematics, computer science and telecommunications fields of study. Hamming taught at NPS as an adjunct Professor from 1976 to 1997.


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