“. . . even though he is a full-time Ph.D. student with a growing family, he takes time out to really care for the students outside of the classroom any time the need arises. As his mentor and boss, I have watched him grow and not only meet, but exceed my expectations as an instructor both online and in the classroom. His attention to every detail about his courses shows great future potential to be an outstanding professor as well as a prolific researcher. . . I cannot think of another instructor at this time that puts more heart and soul into preparation for each and every class to make sure it is the very best that it can be.” – Dr. Becky Knight about Instructor Li
Our September Teaching Excellence Spotlight awardee is Qiwei Li, Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Student in the Department of Rehabilitation and Health Services. Instructor Li describes his overall approach to teaching as “adaptive” and is always adjusting his teaching to meet students where they are.
Dr. J. Michael Spector
“As a student, I was always impressed by his passion on teaching and his efforts on engaging students. He is a respectful, distinguished, and well informed teacher . . . we can feel that he loves students and the interaction with students.” – A student of Dr. Spector’s
Our August Teaching Excellence Spotlight awardee is Dr. J. Michael Spector, Professor in the Department of Learning Technologies. Dr. Spector’s most helpful teaching strategy is listening to students.
Dr. Brooke Nodeland
“. . . this spring, I converted my entire Introduction to Criminal Justice course to team-based learning. It was challenging as the instructor as it’s much more time consuming to prepare for each class, but it was one of the most engaging semesters I have had since I started teaching. There’s over 100 students in the class and close to 80% of students regularly attended the course.”
Our July Teaching Excellence Spotlight awardee is Dr. Brooke Nodeland, Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice. Dr. Nodeland uses team-based learning, a teaching method that emphasizes teamwork, problem-solving, and application, to much success in her courses.
Dr. Jeannette Ginther
“. . . a rare teacher who, despite having upwards of over 100 students, knows each of her students by name and face. In many cases, she also knows details of their lives that they trust sharing with her and that support her in her work as a caring and thoughtful teacher. These details – which she solicits through conversations, dialogue, and feedback forms – allows her to design curriculum that responds to, and emerges from, the students' lived experiences. I have no doubt that the empathy that Dr. Ginther has for her students' challenges and the ways that she celebrates their achievements have much to do with their success at UNT.” – Dr. Tran Templeton, colleague of Dr. Ginther
Our June Teaching Excellence Spotlight awardee is Dr. Jeannette Ginther, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration. Dr. Ginther’s extensive experience as a K-12 educator and her dedication to empowering her students enables her to provide expertise, support, and care to the future educators that she teaches.
Dr. Amy Petros
“Dr. Petros values each and every one of her students, working exceedingly hard to make sure each individual leaves her classes a better student than when they first entered the class; Dr. Petros does not base the success of her students on their grades, but how they evolve as learners and teachers themselves. Dr. Petros goes above and beyond to help her students achieve independence, establish resilience, and find motivation during their time in her courses, so they not only work hard in her classes, but continue to excel in their college careers long after they have left her classroom.” – Student who nominated Dr. Petros
Our May Teaching Excellence Spotlight awardee is Dr. Amy Petros, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry. Dr. Petros prioritizes her students’ input as the most important asset to her teaching style and course design.
Dr. Jonathan “Capital” Patterson
“Capital has an amazing professional resume and brings all that experience into the classroom. He has a broad, international perspective that feels really relevant to me and super inspiring. But the main reason I picked him for this is because of his awesome teaching. He is always enthusiastic, engaged, meticulously prepared and he presents the material in an organized way that is super easy and fun to follow. I learned so much every week in this class and I have been able to use the skills for my outside creative work.” – A student who nominated Dr. Patterson
Our April Teaching Excellence Spotlight awardee is Dr. Jonathan Patterson, Assistant Professor of Popular Music in the Division of Jazz Studies in the College of Music. Dr. Patterson, or “Capital” as he is known by students and colleagues alike, emphasizes relevance in his teaching by sharing his professional experience as a musician and designing classroom assignments and activities that reflect real world working conditions.
Dr. Brian Lain
“My approach to teaching is to take seriously that the skills in the classroom are survival tools for students and getting them involved, in control, and engaged in their own learning is necessary for the production of a stable and safe community for the future.”
Our March Teaching Excellence Spotlight awardee is Dr. Brian Lain, Associate Professor and Director of Debate in the Department of Communication Studies. Dr. Lain teaches such compelling classes as “The Zombie as Rhetorical Figure” where he playfully infuses pop culture into not just his teaching, but his overall teaching philosophy for the more serious cultivation of independent and critical student citizens.
Dr. Lauren Eutsler
“…her efforts to integrate technology in classrooms is decidedly a way to bring STEM/STEAM to a field dominated by women. She is mindful of her efforts to help the women in her classroom know that technology and science are not outside the realm of their potential or their students’.” – Dr. Tran Templeton, colleague of Dr. Eutsler
Our February Teaching Excellence Spotlight awardee is Dr. Lauren Eutsler, Assistant Professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration. Dr. Eutsler brings her diverse background and life experiences to her teaching and research in innovative ways, engaging technology and creative thinking in her work.
Dr. Rose Baker
“Her students know that her door is always open and that, after you walk in, Dr. Baker will not let you walk out until she has both answered all of your questions and put you back on track.” – Jennie Johnson, a current student who nominated Dr. Baker
Our January 2019 Teaching Excellence Spotlight awardee is Dr. Rose Baker, Assistant Professor in the Department of Learning Technologies. A lifelong educator, Dr. Baker has been teaching since she was a child when she taught her sibling and other neighborhood children how to count and has not stopped since.
Teresa Moss, M.S., M.Ed.
“To put it in bluntly, she's a good person. Her teaching style is dialogue based, and she genuinely cares about us and whether we're struggling to learn our material. She a very genuine and engaging person. Her environmental philosophy class is my favorite class I've ever taken.” – An anonymous nomination from a student of Moss
Our December Teaching Excellence Spotlight awardee is Teresa Moss, Teaching Fellow and Graduate Student in the Department of Philosophy & Religion. Ms. Moss has extensive experience teaching in a variety of capacities as faculty, as well as via industry experience in the non-profit sector.
Dr. Kiko Kawamura
“My passion of teaching is to show students that math is not just memorization, but is more creative and beautiful like art.”
Our November Teaching Excellence Spotlight awardee is Dr. Kiko Kawamura, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics. Dr. Kawamura teaches a variety of course in the Department of Mathematics and uses active learning methods to engage students in their learning.
Dr. Jessica Craig
“It is part of my job to help students see why these topics matter, not just academically but also personally, to their life post-graduation. I tried to convey this through traditional lecture styles but for me, that medium was not working. The students were bored, and I grew frustrated as I tried to determine if the students really understood the material. When I heard about TBL [team-based learning] and saw first-hand how engaged and invested students were during in-class discussions, I knew I had to give it a try.”
Our October Teaching Excellence Spotlight awardee is Dr. Jessica Craig, Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice. Dr. Craig teaches advanced course in research and theory. She has also participated in the university team-based learning (TBL) initiative to promote engaged teaching and learning on campus.
Dr. Brian Sauser
“Sometime advances in technology are not an enabler of better learning and distract from the message. For example, I have done exercises with sidewalk chalk in place of PowerPoint for making a presentation so technology does not get in the way of the message or experience of learning.”
Our first Teaching Excellence Spotlight awardee for the 2018-2019 academic year is Dr. Brian Sauser, Full Professor in the Department of Marketing & Logistics and Director of the Jim McNatt Institute for Logistics Research. Dr. Sauser recently worked on a special project with CLEAR and the Graduate Student Teaching Excellence Program (GSTEP) training first year Marketing and Logistics doctoral students in undergraduate teaching. In this special project, Dr. Sauser and GSTEP integrated these students in a Marketing and Logistics undergraduate capstone course where they worked directly with undergraduates guiding them as learning groups in addressing the issue of student retention at the university.
Dr. Rebekah Knight
“My teaching skills continue to improve when I am being a better listener to what individual students need to succeed in the classroom.”
Our May Teaching Excellence Spotlight awardee is Dr. Becky Knight, adjunct professor in the Rehabilitation and Health Services Department with the College of Health and Public Services. Dr. Knight specializes in teaching courses in gerontology for majors and non-majors alike; including such courses as AGER 2250: Images of Aging in Film and Literature and AGER 4750: Sexuality and Aging. In order to make such topics accessible to college students, Dr. Knight has students look to their own lives to illustrate theory, concepts, and research and uses a team-based learning approach to build an interactive learning environment.
Dr. John Murphy
“Many aspects of contemporary life make it challenging to devote one's full attention to listening to music and reading research-based writing. In class, I take the time to guide students' attention to small details of a recorded musical performance and to details of the rhetoric of an argument in an article. I use my classes as an opportunity to focus.”
Our April Teaching Excellence Spotlight awardee is Dr. John Murphy, Professor and Chair of the Jazz Studies division in the College of Music. Dr. Murphy’s teaches course for majors and non-majors alike. He has also taken on the challenge of designing fully online music courses for the university’s online core course initiative.
Dr. Bethany Blackstone
"I benefit greatly from the community of teacher-scholars at UNT and in the discipline of political science. Being active in these communities keeps me in conversation with other instructors about pedagogical innovations and the creative things other instructors are doing in their classes."
Our March Teaching Excellence Spotlight awardee is Dr. Bethany Blackstone, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science. Dr. Blackstone’s teaching practice is focused on helping students learn to evaluate information, formulate evidence-based arguments, and use research to answer questions and communicate ideas. She is committed to supporting students both in and out of the classroom and has served as Faculty in Residence at Rawlins Hall for the past five semesters.
Dr. April Prince
"My hope is that students of all kinds can “hear” themselves in the music and connect with it on their own terms—that they can find a way into the curriculum and make it meaningful to them and their major curriculum."
Our February Teaching Excellence Spotlight awardee is Dr. April Prince, Senior Lecturer with the Division of Music History, Theory, and Ethnomusicology in the UNT College of Music. Dr. Prince's teaching practice specializes in general education curriculum. Her classes include topics on gender and sexuality, American popular music, and music outside the traditional canon.
Dr. Gayle Prybutok
"Most of my students are non-traditional students returning to school for a graduate degree while working full time. Often they are anxious about their ability to perform well in graduate school, particularly in a fully online format, which they may be unfamiliar with, or with which they have had unsatisfactory experiences in the past. My role is to first, help them to gain self-confidence in their ability to compete, and then to fully participate in each course with them."
Kicking off our newest feature, the Teaching Excellence Spotlight, is Dr. Gayle Prybutok, RN, Assistant Professor with the Rehabilitation and Health Services program at UNT. After working in the health care industry for over 25 years, Dr. Prybutok earned her Ph.D. and pioneered creating and teaching online courses for the discipline at UNT, including developing a Master's degree in Health Services Administration and a doctoral degree in Health Services Research.
Dr. Kelly Donahue-Wallace
"The biggest challenge [in online teaching] is making sure that students have everything they need to feel comfortable in the online class. This requires massive planning up front and lots of anticipating questions and concerns."
Kicking off our newest feature, the Teaching Excellence Spotlight, is Dr. Kelly Donahue-Wallace, Professor of Art History in the Department of Art Education and Art History, as well as the Women's and Gender Studies program at UNT. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in a variety of formats. She has created three award-winning online courses for the university: Art and Businness, Art Appreciation for Non-Majors, and Art History Survey I.