Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2005

Faculty Award winner

Christopher Parkinson

 College of Arts and Sciences

 Biology

As a professor, it is my responsibility to motivate the students’ interest in the course. My goal is to utilize active learning techniques to teach critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills. This is very difficult, but I am fortunate to have a dynamic personality, quick sense of humor and an intense passion to excite students. I often integrate my research and other real-world examples to solidify understanding of important principles.

One of my trademarks is my respect for the student. By the second week of class, I know each student by name (even in my 81 person classes.) We set high expectations for both them and me. I invite dialogue. In my class, students learn to expect questions, thus they must be prepared. Students learn that asking “why” is important. There are no stupid questions. My greatest accomplishment is providing a non-threatening, nurturing environment, for my students to learn. Respect is a key reason for this success.

When students feel that you genuinely care about them and they see you giving your all to them, they do not want to disappoint you. There are days in lecture that I do not get through all of the