The Faculty Teaching Award is presented to an ASU faculty member who delivers outstanding educational experiences to students – experiences that illuminate the complexity of current health issues and expand learners’ minds to encourage the discovery of novel solutions.
Dr. Bertha Alvarez Manninen is being honored for her work as a scholar and teacher in the field of philosophy, with a specialty in applied ethics and biomedical ethics.
She received bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and English literature from Florida International University in 1999 and a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 2001. Shortly after receiving her Ph.D. in philosophy from Purdue University in 2006, she joined the faculty at ASU. She has become an extremely active scholar, with 25 articles, book chapters and invited refereed articles to her credit. Some of the topics she has covered in her scholarly work include cloning and individuality, the ethics of euthanasia, and a philosophical analysis of the over-prescription of psychoactive drugs.
Her current projects include explorations of the intersection of bioethics and metaphysics in defining death and the importance of closing the divide between supporters of abortion rights and anti-abortion advocates in the American cultural political landscape. She co-authored an essay on the use of embryonic tissue in stem-cell research in the recently published anthology “Contemporary Debates in Bioethics.”
As a teacher, Dr. Manninen is known for modeling the things she teaches her students: a passionate, but deeply rational, commitment to a full discussion of important ethical issues. Her goal is not to push one particular philosophy over another, but rather give students the tools they need to come to their own conclusions. She consistently receives strong student evaluations for her courses, with learners praising her feedback, her outstanding course materials, the organization of her courses, and her lectures.
Dr. Manninen won the New College Teaching Award in 2012. She currently serves as a peer referee for the Journal of Social Philosophy and the American Journal of Bioethics. She is actively involved in academic, cultural and ethnic activities of ASU’s West campus where she works, participating as a committee member for the annual presentation of the Martin Luther King Jr. "March on West" and assisting on a wide variety of academic councils and programs.