Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2015

Faculty Award winner

Abby Milon

 College of Health and Public Affairs

 Legal Studies

Education has always been an important and valued part of my life. My parents impressed upon me the need to obtain an education because unlike material items an education cannot be taken away from you. I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Master of Science and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida and incorporate my college experiences into my lectures. I believe that the opportunity to learn is a precious gift and I try to encourage my students to take full advantage of this unique experience. I believe that it is important to incorporate real-life situations in the course material in order that the students can learn how to apply the theoretical framework to their everyday world. Additionally, this method allows the student to assimilate the information in a more direct manner and provides retention of those concepts.

I was attracted to the study of law because it is not stagnant. Case decisions and legislation continually shape the content of our courses offered in the Legal Studies program. I therefore am a student as well as an instructor and am learning all the time. Through the interactive dialogue with the students, I am constantly challenged to consider other viewpoints and alternative reasoning to the material presented in the textbooks. I am forced to be creative in the delivery of the material and to experiment with various teaching techniques to convey the ideas to the class.

I employ collaborative learning in my courses to simulate real world scenarios that the students may face upon graduation. For example, I developed different scenarios for the Law of Contracts course for the students to draft agreements for their respective clients. The student is assigned to represent a client's interest and then interacts with the other student to negotiate the final version of the agreement on behalf of both of their respective clients.

I also believe in collaborative teaching and have routinely sought out my colleagues for input for my courses. We discuss the positive and negative aspects of various approaches for the different courses and then retool the courses based upon those observations. I have participated in several teaching workshops sponsored by the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning with my colleagues. We explored the adaptation of newer technologies and teaching methods during the workshops. This meaningful interaction with my colleagues afforded me the opportunity to improve the methods of delivery of the course material and fostered the students increased valuation of learning such information. The teaching experience at the University of Central Florida has provided me an opportunity to continue to learn and expand my horizons while seeking ways to encourage my students to do the same.