2005-2006 Teaching Excellence Award Recipients
The Undergraduate School
Merrily Stover began her work for UMUC in 1991 as a lecturer in anthropology in UMUC-Europe and the next year came to Adelphi to work in the Overseas Program to recruit faculty candidates for placement in Europe and Asia . She transitioned to the position of academic administrator in the behavioral and social sciences unit in 1994. In addition to her supervising faculty and developing online degrees in these areas, Dr. Stover taught in all formats offered by UMUC – face-to-face classes, video, voicemail, and online courses. Her teaching covered the areas of religion, cultural and physical anthropology and human development. In 2002, she moved to California and continued to teach online as an adjunct professor and write for publication and conference presentations. Since that time she has served not only as an online mentor to new faculty and a course chair for humanities courses, but she is the co-author of various new online anthropology, archaeology and linguistics courses. Dr. Stover currently holds the position of collegiate professor.
Her core teaching philosophies include helping her students grow in their critical thinking and writing skills and in their understanding of our human family across space and through time. Students appreciate her thoroughness and patience in explaining challenging learning material as well as her ability to help them apply the concepts in everyday life and in future classes. Colleagues appreciate her willingness to share her teaching practices and insights and to collaborate on articles for publication, presentation, and course development. In her own words, Dr. Stover believes that “the love of learning and curiosity about people's thinking and ways of life is one of the most important things students learn from me.”
Dr. Stover received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Hawaii.
The Honorable Michael Patrick Whalen has demonstrated consistent commitment to UMUC and the legal studies program since 1979. During the past 27 years, Judge Whalen has taught students to learn and integrate legal concepts and theory with actual practice. One of his most notable teaching strategies is to bring his first-hand involvement in various legal cases as a trial prosecutor, defense attorney, and judge into the classroom. He walks students through the criminal justice system and helps them feel as if they are actually experiencing it. His lectures are laced with issue-specific demonstrations, student oral presentations, videotaped portions of courtroom proceedings, and expert guest lectures. Not only are relevant current events and issues discussed, but Judge Whalen provides students with a historical perspective relating to the important American legal concepts and processes.
Student nominations repeatedly noted the benefits of his inspiring teaching style and his interest and concern about their learning experience in the classroom and future professional goals. Many of his students have become involved in the legal field in some capacity and more than a few have gone on to complete law school and some have actually appeared before him as practitioners. One student wrote, “You listen to him speak and you want to be what he is – a good person who has made a large difference in making this world better for us all.”
Judge Whalen received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law.
The Graduate School
Michael P. Sweeney began teaching graduate accounting courses at UMUC as an adjunct associate professor in 2001. He is also an associate professor of accounting and the McCabe/UPS Memorial Endowed Chair at Hillsdale College in Michigan. Dr. Sweeney's love of teaching and enthusiasm for learning to teach effectively with technology is apparent by his exploration of new computer programs and the development of various learning objects. In particular, he has created screen capture videos to show students how to better use Excel to solve financial and accounting problems in their coursework. Students report that these videos not only help them overcome their fear of math and finance, but also build their confidence through working the problems as though he were seated next to them.
Dr. Sweeney extends his teaching and learning efforts to his colleagues by sharing his teaching resources and videos with those who teach the same course. He is an active faculty mentor and role model to new finance and accounting faculty and has written two articles that share “lessons learned” in the online classroom that benefit all UMUC faculty. His commitment to lifelong learning is evident in his frequent participation in faculty development workshops and as a 2004 UMUC Summer Faculty Leadership Institute participant. He summarizes his teaching philosophy as “ When all is said and done, the most important thing for me is to love and believe in my students. If I can do that, day in and day out, my students will know. And that is the most important thing I can do to help them succeed.”
Dr. Sweeney received his Ph.D. in 1994 from the University of Kentucky.
Stephen V. Versace began teaching at UMUC in 1971 and has served in a variety of roles including the director of the Executive Technology Program from 1997 to 2003. He became a collegiate professor in 2003 and teaches in the MBA, Executive MBA and Executive Master in Information Technology (EMIT) programs. He has been an active participant in the evolution of technology in the college classroom over the past 30 years by expanding his face-to-face classroom skills to include online teaching with students worldwide. Currently, he is helping the department completely revise the EMIT curricula in order to attract candidates who want to become Chief Technology Officers and Chief Information Officers.
Dr. Versace notes that he learns from his students even with his years of experience in information technology, program management, operational research, and quantitative analysis. He encourages them to share their work and life experiences in his classes and motivates them to work effectively in teams. Students note that the program offers a short amount of time to learn a vast amount of information and that Dr. Versace energized them to excellence with his enthusiasm and dedication. His efforts inspire them to continue to learn more than the course content, but how to live as critical thinkers and effective managers.
Dr. Versace received his Ph.D. in 1976 from the University of Maryland, College Park.
This information is unavailable.
Mr. Norris holds a B.S. in business administration from the University of Richmond, and a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English and English education, both from Virginia Commonwealth University. Before joining UMUC he taught at J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College and in the afloat PACE program with City Colleges of Chicago, teaching on four different ships. Mr. Norris has a range of editing and reporting experience including two years editing publications at VCU. His poetry has been published in a number of different journals. Since joining UMUC in Asia in 1987 he has taught at numerous locations throughout Korea.
Mr. Won holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from George Washington University, and an M.S. in electrical engineering and an M.S. in applied mathematics, both from Johns Hopkins University. A certified electronics engineer, he was employed by Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Baltimore, Maryland for seven years. He has extensive experience in developing networking solutions for a Westinghouse LAN; engineering, testing, and troubleshooting radar communications systems (RF and microwave); and designing digital circuits. Mr. Won also designed and assembled PC boards for electronic guidance systems, and modified and implemented software testing packages for the US government. His training includes concepts of advanced radar systems and documenting operations specifications for radar test sets. He joined the UMUC Asia faculty in 1994, and taught at numerous locations throughout Korea before relocating to Okinawa in 1997, teaching also in the UMUC distance education program.