Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2017

Faculty Award winner

Danielle Webster

 College of Health and Public Affairs

 Health Sciences Pre-Clinical

Making a positive impact on my students’ lives has been at the center of my teaching philosophy and I look forward to the opportunity to continue doing so. Promoting collaborative learning-centered environments is the cornerstone of my philosophy and it continuously evolves as the cross-section of students changes. As a teacher, I believe it is my responsibility to shape my students’ experience to prepare them for life beyond the classroom. In the end, I would not have only passed on information, but higher academic self-esteem to continue their own journeys.

As the delivery of information is foremost in the goals of teaching, I believe that this experience should be dynamic and all encompassing. By this I mean that teaching should not be limited to the presentation of an accurate power point presentation, but should involve an exchange of information between teacher and students. When pursuing the sciences, the classroom can be an intimidating place for most students, but by relating the material to everyday scenarios I have been able to mitigate this fear. This facilitates a more conversational learning environment where my students feel comfortable to engage not only the material, but also their peers and myself.

Being cognizant of the diversity within the student population has challenged me to become a better instructor and create a learning-rich environment adapted to my students’ needs. To accomplish this, I create a high impact research classroom environment that facilitates student engagement in lessons by promoting active learning in the classroom. Through the use of case studies, lectures and peer-peer tutoring, I am able to reach a wide cross-section of students by accommodating all their learning styles both independently and collaboratively.

Not only do I strive to create the best possible learning environment within the classroom, I maintain an open-door policy so that my students feel comfortable to reach me in person or via telecoms with any questions they may have. It is my belief that teaching goes beyond the classroom and the curriculum, and I encourage my students to contact me with any concerns that they may have. It is also my belief that it is my responsibility as the instructor to ensure that the knowledge I impart is knowledge for life, and not merely to pass a final exam.

The ability to influence another’s life has always been truly fascinating to me and as such, I have made it my ultimate goal to positively impact as many persons as I possibly can. By creating a learning-centered environment, teaching becomes more of an experience rather than a simple regurgitation of information. As a teacher, I am able to communicate and inspire passion for a subject amidst a flood of information, while creating lasting bonds between my students and me.