Teaching Excellence Award winners announced

The Office of Faculty Development and Teaching Excellence is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 Augusta University Teaching Excellence Awards.

These new annual awards were instituted at the recommendation of the Office of Faculty Development and Teaching Excellence and approved by the Senate Faculty Development Committee and the Provost. Award recipients were selected by committees formed from members of the Senate Faculty Development Committee.  Recipients of the university awards will work with staff in the Office of Faculty Development and Teaching Excellence to prepare applications for the University System of Georgia Regents Teaching Excellence awards.

Dr. Rebecca Harper, Dept. of Advanced Studies and Innovation, College of Education and Graduate School, is the recipient of the Augusta University Individual Teaching Excellence Award. This award honors a full-time member of the teaching faculty and teaching academic staff at Augusta University who demonstrates a strong commitment to teaching and student success, uses effective teaching strategies, and has a strong commitment to fostering the academic success of students through interaction with students outside of the classroom.

Dr. Harper embraces the idea that teaching “is not a static entity; instead it is dynamic, unique, and changing [activity] based on the needs of the students,” and works to not only advocate for, but also enact this dynamic in her own instruction.  Judi Wilson, Associate Dean of the College of Education notes that Dr. Harper is “a natural teacher and communicator” who has “creativity, passion and strong instructional and interpersonal skills.  She is a phenomenal [member of] our instructional team.”

The Department of Emergency Medicine and Hospitalist Services, Medical College of Georgia, is the recipient of the Augusta University Program Teaching Excellence Award. This award honors a department or program that promotes, supports, and recognizes excellence in teaching and in service to students.

The department has developed a number of innovative educational programs, including the development and implementation of an ultrasound course to diagnose tropical infectious diseases in conjunction with a university in Peru, as well as the creation of MedWAR (Medical Wilderness Adventure Race) as a tool for teaching and testing the knowledge, skills, and techniques of wilderness medicine.  The department has also fostered student involvement in research. In the last two years, students have participated in at least 18 research projects, published four conference abstracts, given three research presentations, and contributed to three journal publications.

Ms. Deltrye Holt, Dept. of Mathematics, College of Science and Mathematics, is the recipient of the Augusta University Online Teaching Excellence Award. This award honors a fulltime member of the teaching faculty and teaching academic staff who is strongly committed to quality online teaching and learning, uses effective and innovative online teaching practices, and demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to fostering the academic success of online students through the development of rapport with individual learners in and beyond the virtual classroom.

Ms. Holt, who is nearing completion of an Ed.D. concentrating on Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, designs, manages, and facilitates her online courses carefully to ensure that online students achieve the same learning outcomes as their face-to-face counterparts. In her College Algebra course, she has been able to increase the ABC rate in her online courses by 10 percentage points during the past two years.  Dr. Neal Smith, Interim Chair of the Department of Mathematics notes that “Ms. Holt’s expertise in online teaching has been most valuable as a resource to her fellow faculty in the department.” She has mentored at least six members of the department in the development of online courses and has developed a mini-course in D2L as a training module for faculty.

 

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