How do these teachers excel?
Qualities of good teachers are easy to spot. Students see them. Colleagues see them. At the Health Science Center, six faculty members received the 1994 Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. Nominations come from students and faculty and staff members who identify something special. Here are the recipients:
Fred A. Bell III, DDS
- Associate professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery, keeps his students engaged with a game inspired by TV's quiz shows. Drawing their names from his "Bucket of Jeopardy," Dr. Bell questions individual students who have a chance to rack up bonus points with the right answer. "The best thing about teaching is the students. We have a lot of fun and that's the key to encouraging students to become lifelong learners."
Linda Y. Johnson, PhD
- Associate professor of cellular and structural biology, teaches anatomy, neuroscience and embryology to medical and dental students. She wins high marks from students for her friendly style and willingness to spend extra time to lead learners into their new professions. "I see much of my job as easing students from the outside world into the medical community and helping them reach their potential in the scholarly pursuit of their professions."
Bill Robbins, DDS
- Associate professor of general dentistry, spends much of his time chairside, instructing tomorrow's dentists. "One of the eloquent speakers at Woodstock stated, 'There are two things we can give kids: roots and wings.' This sums up my philosophy of education. As an educator, my responsibility begins with providing students the basics in my discipline. That's the roots. However, the students must then be able to translate the basics into a thinking process that will assist them in decision making for the next 50 years. That's the wings."
Pamela E. Stanton, EdD
- Associate professor and head of the physical therapy department, promotes student understanding by sharing her clinical experience in pediatric physical therapy, including children who are HIV-positive. "Her initiative to bring the plight of these children to the forefront has been an inspiration to all, especially the students," a colleague said.
- Associate professor of clinical laboratory science, teaches junior- and senior-level courses in medical microbiology. She helps students cope with complexity without letting them lose sight of the significance of their work. "Connie admirably performs a delicate balancing act of being 'teacher of facts' with that of 'nurturer of professional development,'" a student said.
Edward L. Russell, PhD
- Assistant professor of nursing, teaches acute care nursing among other courses. He said a good teacher needs to be able to relate to his students and be patient as they comprehend information. "Students at the Health Science Center have a lot of demands on them with family and work. In class I'll say to my students something like, 'I know what you are thinking: Dr. Russell, why are you telling me this?' I recognize that the information is very complex."
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