WCU announces engaged teaching award recipients

Western Carolina University recently named 20 top faculty members as recipients of the 2008 Chancellor’s Meritorious Award for Engaged Teaching.

The award honors faculty members who have developed learning experiences based on principles of discovery, integration, analysis and application that help students connect to their course material and to the community. Winners receive a $1,000 raise.

The 2008 recipients are Robert Adams, director of the electrical and computer engineering technology program; Arledge Armenaki, associate professor of cinematography; Peter Bates, associate professor of natural resource conservation and management; Travis Bennett, assistant professor of horn and music; Lisa Bloom, professor of special education; Patricia Bricker, assistant professor of elementary and middle grades education; Lisa Briggs, assistant professor of applied criminology; James Davis, assistant professor of French and Spanish; and Dr. Claire DeCristofaro, associate professor of nursing.

Also, Dorothy Greene, assistant professor of social work; Cathy Grist, assistant professor of human services; David Kinner, assistant professor of geology; William McDaniel, coordinator of the engineering and technology distance learning program; Elizabeth McRae, assistant professor of history; Jane Nichols, assistant professor of art and design; Sean O’Connell, assistant professor of biology; Debby Singleton, instructor of health, physical education and recreation; Erin Tapley, associate professor of art education; Lori Unruh, coordinator of the school psychology graduate program; and Tonya Westbrook, assistant professor of social work.

Deans and faculty advisory committees select finalists for the award based on a review of nominations and supporting materials such as syllabi, class assignments, samples of student work and other documents and forward recommendations to the Office of the Provost.

“WCU is privileged to have many faculty committed to engaged teaching,” said Provost Kyle Carter. “The ones recognized this year are outstanding examples of the dedicated WCU faculty who spend extra time and effort developing creative learning experiences for their students. I am very proud to acknowledge their great work and feel fortunate to work with faculty who believe so passionately about their students.”

The awards were established last year to support Western Carolina’s increasing emphasis on fostering engaged teaching and integrated learning, a key element of the university’s Quality Enhancement Plan, also known as the QEP.

Honorees will be recognized at the Spring General Faculty Meeting and Awards Convocation.

For more information about the awards, contact Carol Burton, assistant vice chancellor for undergraduate studies, at (828) 227-7497.