Two of Health, Behavior & Society's outstanding faculty received teaching awards presented at the graduation reception on May 6, 2016. These awards recognize faculty achievement in teaching and mentoring.
Dean’s Outstanding Teaching Performance Award
The Dean’s Outstanding Teaching Performance Award recognizes efforts to improve teaching and/or maintenance of the highest levels of student learning, through course revisions, engaging student activities, or other effective approaches to the teaching of courses. The 2016 recipient is Christina Studts, PhD. Dr. Studts is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Behavior & Society. She met the criteria for this award by re-designing the Measurement in Health Behavior course to utilize small group activities and “assertion-evidence design” concepts in her presentations. Dr. Studts was also instrumental in re-sequencing courses to improve the flow between methods courses and the capstone course. Dr. Studts is truly a dynamic and inspiring teacher. She has become an integral part of our teaching faculty, bringing to our MPH students both rigor and enthusiasm.
Dean’s Innovation in Teaching Award
The Dean’s Innovation in Teaching Award recognizes notable efforts to enhance teaching courses in the curriculum through non-traditional methods of instruction, such as distributed education, Blackboard utilization, or an executive learning format. The 2016 recipient is Sarah Cprek, MPH. Ms. Cprek is an Instructor in the Department of Health, Behavior & Society. She transformed a core BPH course, Introduction to Public Health, from a traditional, large lecture course to one that is hybrid in design. This innovation was a major undertaking for such a large, undergraduate course in which many students have no prior exposure to public health. She also changed the course grading scheme from one focused on exams and a paper to one that better met the needs of students with diverse learning styles. These strategies were highly innovative, including debates and online discussion forums. Ms. Cprek has truly designed a course that provides an effective overview of the vast subject of public health and students share phrases such as “flawless” and “amazing professor.”