News Items from UNC Greensboro

021313Feature_iHeartTeachersLast semester, great teaching at UNCG was recognized with gold stars by the Faculty Teaching & Learning Commons. Lots were handed out.

This semester, students are doing the honors.

The very first star awarded this year by a student? Liz Friss was the undergraduate. An accounting major in the “UNCG in 3” program – which allows highly motivated students to complete all their work in three years – she knew exactly whom she felt should get a star.

When Katie Davenport, a lecturer in Accounting and Finance, walked into class at Bryan Building, Liz asked if she could present her with something from the “I (Heart) Teachers” program. (The moniker is “I <3 Teachers.”)

“She said that was fine as long as she was not going to get slimed,” Liz explains. “I assured her that there was no sliming involved.”

Liz stood in front of the class and in 20 seconds laid it out, star in hand.

“I proceeded to say some words about Mrs. Davenport. I had Mrs. Davenport last semester for Accounting 218 and loved her. That was my first semester at college, and I was nervous to see what it was like. Her class was a nice transition for me from high school to college to see what a real college class entailed.”

She told the class how their professor makes material she’d expect to be the most boring, much less so. “I also said how she was always available to help, no matter what the problem is. I also just said that Mrs. Davenport is an extraordinary teacher and we are all very lucky to have her this semester.

“Everyone clapped.”

More recently, another star was presented. Dr. Lee Baker, a professor in humanities, was surprised this time. Thomas Carrington did the honors before the Chinese literature class.

“I felt happy to award a professor for his hard work and dedication,” Thomas later said.

“The class has helped me explore the possibility of studying abroad in China,” he said. It has also boosted Thomas’ interest in the Chinese language.

The moment was captured on video. Baker told the class he knew nothing about it till that morning. “It’s a double honor really – because not only do I get recognized as a teacher people like, but also the award comes from students, which makes it doubly meaningful for me.”

The program is just getting started on our campus. “I think this program is going to have more legs than we realize once it gets going,” says Michelle Soler, senior director in the Division of Continual Learning and a key part of the Faculty and Teaching Learning Commons (FTLC). The FTLC sponsors the program. A number of students have picked up stars, she says.

There is a lot of great teaching at UNCG to recognize.

More information about “I (Heart) Teachers” is at http://commons.uncg.edu/iheart.php.

By Mike Harris

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