During the Delphi Center’s Celebration of Teaching and Learning earlier this month, Interim Provost Dale Billingsley announced that the School of Medicine Department of Physiology is this year’s Paul Weber Award for Departmental Excellence in Teaching.
The Department of Physiology was recognized for its development of a rigorous research program in the scholarship of teaching and learning to assess the effectiveness of alternative teaching pedagogies with professional students in the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Graduate Studies. This research indicates that active learning strategies, such as engaging lectures, online modules and team-based learning, produce significant gains in student study skills, performance, motivation, class attentiveness and information retention.
According to the department’s award submission, these newly implemented teaching methods have “revitalized the departmental teaching mission, improved communication about teaching efforts, and ultimately made classroom interactions more positive, beneficial and inspiring for both faculty and students.”
The Paul Weber Award for Departmental Excellence in Teaching was established in 2005 by then-Provost Shirley Willihnganz to sustain a culture of teaching excellence, reward departments who collaborate to enhance student learning, encourage collegiality and more. The award is named in memory of Dr. Paul Weber, a distinguished teacher, scholar and mentor at UofL.
Also during the luncheon, Billingsley recognized the four 2015-16 Faculty Favorite Award winners: Judith Danovitch, Denise Cumberland, Stephan F. Gohmann and Ayman El-Baz.
Danovitch, associate professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, is described by students as being “interesting and engaging.” She received her AB in Psychology and Biology from Harvard in 2000 and her PhD in Psychology from Yale in 2005. Her research interest is “how children seek out and evaluate knowledge throughout their development.”
Cumberland, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development, is described by students as being “engaging” and “enthusiastic.”
Cumberland spent most of her career in corporate marketing, but fell into adjunct teaching on the advice of a friend. She enjoyed it enough to pursue her PhD at UofL, earning her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development in 2012.
Gohmann, PhD, director of the John H. Schnatter Center for Free Enterprise, BB&T Professor of Free Enterprise and economics professor, is described by students as being “driven and passionate” and “very insightful.”
Gohmann has been at UofL for almost 20 years. He was named director of the Schnatter Center when the center opened in 2015.
Dr. Ayman El-Baz, associate professor in the Department of Bioengineering, has 12 years of hands-on experience in the fields of bioimaging modeling and computer-assisted diagnostic systems. He has developed new techniques for analyzing 3D medical images, and his work related to novel image analysis techniques for lung cancer and autism diagnosis have earned him multiple awards.
In February, 2016, El-Baz became the acting chair of Bioengineering.
Students recognized him for being accessible in and out of the classroom, and working with them until they understand the subject matter.
This year, students submitted 624 nominations for 334 faculty members to the Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning, which solicits the nominations. The top four professors to receive the most nominations are recognized as “Faculty Favorites.”
More photos from the Delphi Center’s Celebration of Teaching and Learning event are available online.