Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2017

Faculty Award winner

Manuel Rivera

 College of Hospitality Management

 Food Service and Lodging

My life as an academician is driven by the principles of scholarship of teaching and learning. My work as a teacher positions me at the intersection of teaching, scholarly teaching, research, and creative activities. This unique intersection requires me to frequently reflect on my teaching according to its impact on my students, my peers, and my industry partners. It is via such reflection and the willingness to adapt and learn that I believe growth as a teacher can ensue. Thus, teaching continues as a very rewarding activity that is central to my past and future as a hospitality professional. Passionate about face-to-face instruction and online, I continually challenge myself to make lessons fresh and effective.

My teaching responsibility at the Rosen College mainly includes courses related to Restaurant Management. Teaching these courses to students is exciting in its demands and personally rewarding. .I aim to spread knowledge and encourage learning. More specifically, I strive to introduce students to a canon of restaurant management-related work and solicit them to become independent, critical thinkers who are able to draw conclusions and make decisions based on knowledge and facts. To this end, I strive to create a balance in my delivery by lecturing to students and asking them to make discoveries through a multitude of assessment techniques. Further, I believe that good teaching depends upon the intellectual exchange between the student and the professor. To establish that exchange, it is necessary to employ a variety of teaching methods.

I am a believer of adopting diverse techniques and methods to assess students’ academic abilities, background, and learning styles; which can be more effective for different students. Therefore, for each major concept, I explain verbally, provide illustrations, discuss implications, use visuals and work out numerical examples. In exams, I always include scenarios that represent real work situations in which students apply the learned concepts and demonstrate a variety of skills, such as evaluating and synthesizing information, while enhancing their writing ability to communicate with others.

My teaching philosophy, as previously described, is piloted by servitude, engagement, and competence. My teaching adopts a responsible approach to teaching and communicating with students. The learning environment is crafted in a way that is enjoyable, especially since the students become the creators and owners of knowledge. The ultimate goal is for the students to succeed in their careers by using the knowledge learned now and the knowledge they will learn in their future employment. In summary, my teaching philosophy is inclusive and driven by a passion to broaden knowledge in the field of hospitality and tourism. I consider myself very fortunate to do what I do for a living. Above all, my goals are to continue influencing my students, my peers, and the industry that I serve by being reflective and purposeful in my teaching.