Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2004

Faculty Award winner

Dorilyn Hitchcock

 College of Health and Public Affairs

 Molecular Biology and Microbiology

First and foremost, I truly enjoy teaching. I hope that I will be most thought of for my enthusiasm for the subject matter and my love of the classroom.

It is most important to be current and knowledgeable in the subject area. As Program Director and Clinical Coordinator, I must keep current in the technology because I am constantly scrutinized by my peers in the hospital setting. The clinical sites expect entry-level competencies from my MLS students, so I am constantly challenged to prepare my students to meet those expectations. My courses require extensive laboratory sessions and I have been fortunate enough to have a wonderful working relationship with many of the instrumentation companies who have graciously donated instruments and reduced service contracts to help me keep my student laboratory up to date. My students engage in a "health screen" day to collect, process and report-out laboratory results from start to finish. This gives the students first-hand patient contact, team work and work flow experience that is somewhat equivalent to what they will see in a true clinical setting. I prep all of my labs and have written the laboratory manuals with clear objectives so they know what to expect.

Flexibility in delivery of the information is a critical factor. For some of my courses, I prefer a lecture format with the notes and slides available to the students on WebCT. In other classes, such as the Concepts in Laboratory Management and Education course, the students are much more involved in interactive learning. We role-play with the students interviewing me for a job and acting as laboratory managers. For the education part of the course, the students put together a presentation that can be used as a recruiting tool which they must go to a high school to present. These are wonderful way to prepare them for the professional environment they will enter upon graduation.

Approachable yet firm are characteristics of a good educator. The student should feel comfortable enough to ask questions, yet aware of who is in control. Grades are not given but earned. Since many of my courses are now open to Molecular and Microbiology students who wish more of a clinical slant, the classes have gotten much larger but this has not altered the structure of my classes or my grading format. Each student is given written objectives for the class and clear rules for grading. My being a fair and honest role model will allow for excellent exchange of information and allow for growth of the student.

Lastly, well prepared lectures and laboratory exercises are a must. Delivery should organized, neat and well spoken with enthusiasm. Laboratory exercises should be pertinent to the lecture material and there should be an apparent flow between the two. I take pride in the fact that I just don't tell the students what to do, I show them and guide them through the exercises.

Enthusiastic, knowledgeable, approachable and prepared are all terms that I believe describe me in the classroom.