I was always interested in science and math. I also have teaching in my blood (literally) with both of my parents being teachers, along with my grandmother, uncle, aunt and cousin in the profession. I was destined to teach! So, being a college chemistry teacher allows me to combine these two areas.
Great Teacher Award
I was named the 2012 Great Teacher at Mount Union. It was amazing to be thought of in this manner. For me, there was no greater honor than to win the same award that my undergraduate academic advisor and mentor, Professor Truman Turnquist, had won some 40 years earlier. In many ways, he has been my role model for all that an educator should be.
I want to have my students develop their problem solving abilities. This means not just teaching them how to solve one particular problem, but rather how to go about solving problems in general. I try to use technology whenever possible to enhance my teaching and expand what I am able to do. I will also use demonstrations to enhance what I am covering in the classroom.
Several years ago, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry realized that our incoming students were a bimodal lot. That is when we developed a general chemistry curriculum, which has an optional first semester course usually taken by those students who are not as well prepared and a mandatory second course. We have found that this method hits both groups of our students. It has been very successful in challenging our students from day one.
Favorite Part of the Job
This one is easy. My favorite part of my job is working closely with students. Nothing is more satisfying than to see a young man or woman begin to realize their potential.
Easy question—Bracy Hall! Bracy has been a blessing to all of the science programs. To have a state-of-the-art building that also looks so nice is just amazing. It (almost) makes the years in old Wilson Hall worth it. The setting of Bracy is also outstanding.
Many comment that it’s the sense of family that makes Mount Union unique. I have to say that this is really true, that the Mount Union community is more of a family than most other places. There is a real sense of working together for the common good of the University here. Just like a family, everyone does not always agree, but we all do have the goal of making Mount Union the best place it can be.
Our students are ready to impact the world. They communicate well, can solve problems, compete well and have been exposed to a variety of new things in their four years at Mount Union. They also retain many of their family values with which they arrived on our campus.