My students have shown me the value of blending traditional teaching practices with unconventional approaches and real-world assignments. They have challenged me to keep up with their world of technology and visual stimulation. They have also provided many years of laughter and inspiration. I hope I have taught them a little bit of something along the way.
My key objective as an educator is to empower each student through craft, discipline, rigor and communication toward greater expressivity, and my hope is to create room for each student I encounter to become an articulate, reflective member of the world community.
My objective as an educator is to assist my students in gaining an appreciation of how intellectual advancement can make them a better consumer, a better manager, and ultimately a better human being.
Employers don't care about theory. They want employees who know how to get things done. My course objectives are for students to be able to apply the knowledge they acquire, to learn to analyze and critically think through problems to fact-based solutions. The greatest satisfaction, as a teacher, is seeing your students "walking the stage" to receive their diploma and then to receive a thank-you note from them when they secure their first job.
Teaching is such a life passion for me. In what other capacity would I have the opportunity to work with so many young, inspired people? Getting to know students individually, encouraging them to engage and take ownership of their learning while helping them to personally discover their paths and what they have to contribute is what inspires me the most.
I believe "social interactions" are the greatest link to the mastery of intellectual skills. As an educator, I feel most effective when I simply initiate and guide the interactions that engage students in the learning process. When I have done my job right, the students emerge as people who can discuss, reorganize and connect information and are genuinely motivated to learn.
I cannot think of a more rewarding profession than teaching and mentoring students at UT Austin. It is my goal to pass on my love for medical microbiology, human infectious diseases and public health to my students through lecture courses and public health internships that are dynamic, exciting and challenging! I also strive to support my students with personal encouragement, and to model for them what it means to be a generous and caring mentor. Along the way, I find that I am the one who is enriched and fulfilled by having an opportunity to contribute to their lives in such a personal and tangible way.
Since I started teaching more than twenty five years ago, the cornerstone of my teaching philosophy has always been very simple, I love what I do and I genuinely like and respect the students. The reason I feel this is so important is because if you love what you do, it shows in the "product" you deliver to your students. In addition, if you like your students, that also shows and it is much easier to engage them and encourage them to take an active role in the learning process, something I try to do at every opportunity.
I am addicted to the thrill I get when my efforts to explain an important economic concept pay off and the light of understanding flashes in a student's eyes. It's a win for me, a win for the student and a win for society.
I don't want my students' university experience to be a "way homer," something they only begin to understand and appreciate years after they have left. I want them to interact with it in the present, to be in their university and not just at it, to be an active participant in their own education and not a passive bystander.
I love teaching, but this award humbles me, because so many excellent teachers surround me in the College of Pharmacy and are as deserving. I teach and coordinate a service-learning course titled Care And Respect for the Elderly (CARE). The course is based on the philosophy of "active learning" and requires each student to provide social support and companionship to an elder. Student learning is evaluated in small group discussion sessions. The "aha!" moments experienced by students are frequent and make teaching an absolute joy. There is nothing like it!
My teaching philosophy is to meet the students where they are and journey with them on a path to developing a firm foundation in scientific concepts and scientific reasoning. To make the walk more interesting and thus memorable, I purposefully try to engage the students with timely demonstrations or references to modern technology and current events. Finally, the students are expected to carry their fair share of the load, so I assign daily homework and test frequently.
Teaching is one of the highest forms of social responsibility, creating continuity and progress from one generation to the next. It's the deepest way to give back to those elders who moved us forward. I hope that in my practice of this ancient art, I inspire wisdom, imagination, and commitment students who will go on to change the world.
I am professionally and personally encouraged as I witness students flourish as they establish positive relations with their instructors, fellow students, communities near and distant, and concern for the thoughts and ideas of others.
Anatomy and Physiology are quite challenging for most freshmen so much of my time and energy is spent teaching them how to organize, understand and commit to memory large quantities of complex information. This is exhausting, but at the same time, it is very satisfying to help a student discover their true capabilities when academically challenged. I just can't imagine doing anything else with my life.
I play, have fun and learn right along with my students. I believe success can be experienced by all, regardless of age, gender, body type, skill or ability. I believe a smile and a positive attitude are contagious.
Through use of an energetic and genuinely devoted approach to leading students, I endeavor to constantly "sell" my subject matter while also exhibiting a personal stake in my discipline by my own professional involvement. This encourages active participation from the students, and I am never more gratified than when my students make practical, consistent and responsible application of the concepts learned in my courses.