Information Sciences and Technology

Hozza to discuss ‘things learned on teaching journey’ in IST McMurtry Lecture

Annual excellence in teaching and learning award talk to be delivered in Westgate Building and online Nov. 11

David Hozza, lecturer in the College of Information Sciences and Technology. (Photo taken prior to March 2020). Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — David Hozza, lecturer in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State, will share “Things I’ve Learned on This Teaching Journey” when he delivers the college’s annual George McMurtry Award Lecture at noon Thursday, Nov. 11, in E202 Westgate Building on the University Park campus. The lecture will also be livestreamed.

In the talk, Hozza will discuss the challenges and rewards that he experienced moving from a 30-year career in industry to teaching in the College of IST. He began his career as a lecturer for the college in 2017, and admits that first year was a struggle.

“All the PowerPoint slides and learning theories couldn’t prepare me for what I faced that first semester in the classroom,” said Hozza. “I quickly realized I needed help, and I was fortunate to have colleagues that offered advice and encouragement. I would like to pay some of that forward in this lecture and share my experiences to help other instructors.”

Part of Hozza’s lecture will focus on those pieces of advice that stuck with him and enabled him to be more creative in the classroom. In the talk, he will specifically discuss learning activities that he has found to be especially effective in improving student learning, such as gamification, learning by doing and flash briefings; as well as approaches to enhancing his own production, including course organization, developing a solid syllabus and the leveraging of Canvas tools.

“The overall result has been greater student engagement through students’ own exploration with little spoon feeding of information through lectures,” Hozza said. “The icing on the cake is when students tell me how the real world examples we covered in class helped them in interviews and prepared them for their eventual careers.”

During Hozza’s career at Penn State, he has developed and taught courses in the areas of cybersecurity, IST and Blockchain. He has created more than 16 hands-on attack-defense cybersecurity labs for use in courses in the security and risk analysis and cybersecurity analytics and operations programs. He was awarded the Dean's Teaching Award for Excellence in 2019 and 2020.

The George J. McMurtry Faculty Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award recognizes IST faculty members who consistently provide an exceptional learning environment.

“This award will influence me to help new teaching faculty as my peers have done for me, and will provide more motivation to innovate my teaching,” said Hozza. “To have my name next to previous winners, many whom have influenced and coached me, is a great honor.”

Learn more about Hozza's lecture and find a link to the livestream at

Last Updated November 04, 2021