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2016 Excellence in Teaching

Excellence in Teaching is bestowed by the Office of the Chancellor and the Teaching Council of the Faculty Senate to honor outstanding work in the classroom.

Wendy Bach

Wendy BachWendy Bach’s nominator says that she “ranks among the most dedicated members of the law faculty and has distinguished herself as one of the college’s truly great teachers.” Her teaching philosophy, focused on creating and implementing pedagogical structures to ensure that the students learn deeply about the practice of law, is something she implements through an intensive 6-credit-hour course in experiential learning through the College of Law’s legal clinic. A colleague describes her as having the characteristics of a great clinical professor: “supportive, yet blunt when she needs to be.”

Heather Hirschfeld

Heather HirschfeldHeather Hirschfeld’s student-centered teaching practice “grows out of the belief that original, creative insights about centuries-old texts are uniquely available to the students who populate [her] courses, both majors and nonmajors alike, and that [she has] much to learn from them.” Students praise Hirschfeld for her expertise in the field of Renaissance literature and for her contagious enthusiasm, which they feel plays a central role in making the sometimes difficult material accessible to them. One English major remarked that she “was inspired to try to match [Hirschfeld’s] intellect.”

Jennifer Morrow

Jennifer MorrowThe four components of Jennifer Morrow’s teaching philosophy are as follows: establish a collaborative, not competitive, learning environment; root instruction in real-world applications; teach students to be critical of what they learn and read; and establish an apprenticeship model of teaching and learning. She maintains an open-door policy for students who need support, and she is able to utilize different teaching models effectively. A student commenter remarked that Morrow “makes each student feel valued and as if she is teaching specifically to them.”

Malissa Peery

Malissa PeeryMalissa Peery has spent the past few years working to redevelop the delivery of MATH 119, bringing it into alignment with her philosophy that “teaching involves motivating students to learn, making them responsible for their learning, giving them the tools they need to learn successfully, [and] delivering the course content in a way they can understand.” She now uses the flipped model, which has been very well received by students. She has shared her materials and methods with other instructors, influencing the learning of hundreds of students in MATH 119. Evaluators have been impressed by both the design of her questions and the high level of student concentration.