Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2010

Faculty Award winner

Dima Nazzal

 College of Engineering and Computer Science

 Industrial Engineering and Management Systems

I believe that to be most effective as an instructor, one must create a welcoming environment that is interactive, collaborative, and promotes problem-solving. The environment should encourage students to present their ideas and opinions while respecting others’ points of view. I like to continuously explore ways to better my teaching methods and learn from others’ experiences. When I attend a conference, in addition to attending research presentations, I also like to attend educational sessions to stay current on other methods of effective teaching.

I encourage interactive learning, where students participate in solving problems and deriving theory with me. I make sure to include real-world problems and examples to promote critical thinking and spark the students’ interest in their future careers as industrial engineers. Further, I make sure that I convey to the students my enthusiasm and passion for teaching the class. I encourage students to cooperate among each other while respecting the school’s honor code. Recently, I created a blog for the students on a course webpage to encourage them to post their thoughts on the course. The blog is a collection of professional reflective statements or questions on the topics, project, term paper, team members, the way they are managing their time, or anything else pertaining to the course. The goal of the blog is to get immediate feedback on the course progress, to assess the students’ comprehension of the course topics, and generate ideas for discussion.

Beyond books and theories, Industrial Engineering instilled in me a desire to be efficient, constantly improving while keeping an eye on the big picture. I hope I am able to pass that to my students. I have been taught by great teachers over the years, and I am eager to pass along my knowledge.