2006-2007 Teaching Excellence Award Recipients
The Undergraduate School
Eva Allen has been an art historian since 1971 and joined the UMUC art history faculty in 1989. Through her dynamic teaching style, she has helped students develop a profound appreciation for art through problem-based learning experiences. Her goal is to lead students to multiple sources of inquiry so they can "uncover multiple meanings rather than one absolute answer" and to encourage them to be active participants in their learning experiences.
Dr. Allen has shared her strengths as a teacher through her efforts as a course developer. She was instrumental in bringing many art history courses from the traditional classroom to the online format—a move that has tripled enrollment in art history courses.
In addition to her teaching, Dr. Allen has also served as a curator for many major art shows and as a member of the Art Advisory Board at UMUC. She has published numerous articles and presented at professional conferences, often talking about the interaction between technology and art history. She is responsible for the attribution of a painting in the Budapest Museum of Fine Art—a new discovery that will be highlighted in an exhibition of Dutch 17th-century genre painting scheduled for summer 2008.
Dr. Allen's active and exciting work in the art world allows her to share with students not only the history of art, but also the world of discovery that knowledge of history makes possible. In her words, Dr. Allen believes that "artworks do not exist in a vacuum, but reflect the particular political, social, and cultural environment from which they originated." In addition, her work with the scientific art community allows her to share with students insights into the ways art is authenticated.
Dr. Allen received her PhD in Art History from University of Maryland, College Park.
Evelyn Bata began her career at UMUC as an undergraduate student, graduating with a bachelor's degree with a specialization in English. She returned in 1997 to teach various courses in counseling, communication, and psychology in Bosnia , Belgium , Iceland , the Azores, Germany , and Japan . In 2001, her world travels brought her back to Adelphi, where she began to teach psychology and gerontology full-time both in local classrooms and online.
In addition to her tireless work with students, Dr. Bata supports the university through her service on the Board of Visitors, which advises the university president. Over the years, her service has extended into the community at large through participation in organizations such as the Mental Health Association of Prince Georges County, the U.S. Air Force National Security Forum, and the Maryland Department of Economic and Community Development Advisory Commission. She has been honored with numerous state and local awards and citations for her leadership.
Dr. Bata's teaching and personal example have made an impact on her students. One student wrote, "I believe the lessons I have learned in Women and Aging have been life-altering for me. She has made me think about the aging process in a completely different way, and it makes me believe that my life will not be over when I am 70 or 80; rather I am simply entering into a new phase in my life that is still full of challenges, excitement, and wonderful times."
Dr. Bata knows from experience how UMUC can touch students. "I knew that there was something special about this teaching environment that motivated and enabled me to graduate and to achieve advanced degrees. So, here I am giving back!"
Dr. Bata received her PhD in counselor education/psychology from University of Maryland, College Park.
The Graduate School
George Gordon Harding joined the graduate faculty in 1998 and brings significant credentials to the classroom. He has worked in the information technology field for more than 30 years, rising to the position of worldwide electronic commerce coordinator for DuPont Merck Pharmaceuticals. His professional activities include writing a number of published articles.
As a product of a demanding business environment, Dr. Harding has been similarly demanding of his students. Remarkably, this very characteristic has been a source of praise from his students. Though they make note of how high his expectations are, they also comment on how those expectations have stretched them to do better and learn more. He encourages students to think deeply and critically about the topics in his courses, go beyond the textbook and assigned readings, and become an active participant in their learning.
Although Dr. Harding has been demanding in his courses, he has been correspondingly supportive of his students, and that perhaps explains why they appreciate him. Student comments note his responsiveness, his active participation in course discussions, and his extensive feedback, as well as the way he infuses course material with real-world experience.
Dr. Harding received his EdD from Wilmington College, in New Castle, Delaware.
Steve Knode began teaching at UMUC in 1997 and has been actively involved in the evolution of all the Executive Programs. Since 2000, he has helped shape the curriculum in the Executive Programs for the Master of Science in information technology, the Master of Business Administration, and the Chief Information Officer certificate. He has incorporated his research into intelligent agents and decision-support software into teaching each of these programs. One student wrote, "Dr. Knode did an excellent job of articulating complicated subject matter in a clear and concise fashion. While studying the course material. I found myself inspired to learn more about the topics and to determine how I can leverage the various technologies in my place of employment."
According to Dr. Knode , his teaching approach is based on the five "Es"—engage, explain, exemplify, empathize, and empower. Not only does he begin his courses by providing provocative articles and predictions to get students involved excited about the technologies, but he also engages his colleagues in similar discussions at professional conferences and university meetings. His efforts to explain and use real-world examples make his courses relevant to the students in his class. Another student expressed it this way: "In an eight-hour class that usually students can't wait to escape, Steve Knode's style of teaching and the content he taught had us all sitting on the edge of our seats throughout the entire class and hungry for more at the end of the day."
Dr. Knode received his PhD in operations management from Syracuse University .
Carol A. Dolan integrates the "Three E's" into her teaching style: education, experience, and enthusiasm. Currently a collegiate professor in Rota, Spain, Dr. Dolan initially taught for UMUC-Asia prior to coming to Europe as a faculty member in 1997. She enjoyed the opportunity to travel and teach within the military communities of Belgium , Germany , England, Spain, and Turkey before accepting her current position in 2003.
As a subject matter expert in the field of psychology, Dr. Dolan has published many research articles relating to health psychology, military psychology, and public health. Her professional experiences include a position as a research psychologist at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and at the Social and Behavior Sciences Department at Boston University School of Public Health.
Her teaching style stems from her passion for the field of psychology and her desire to impel students to ask questions and think more critically about human behavior. She employs humor in the classroom to enhance the learning environment and draws from her professional experiences to bring the subject matter to life.
Inspired by students' commitment to learn, Dr. Dolan admires students who continue with their education despite difficult circumstances like deployments and family commitments. A life-long learner herself, she recently began a program of graduate study to broaden her knowledge base and offer students a better perspective on the applications of counseling psychology. She is a member of the American Counseling Association and the American Psychosomatic Society.
Dr. Dolan received an MA and a PhD in personality and social psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BA in psychology from St. Michael's College. She shares her love of travel with her husband Trevor Sloan, and they enjoy touring Europe by motorcycle.
Since 1985, adjunct professor Roberto Russo has been sharing his gift for science and mathematics with university students. His teaching philosophy stems from the principle that mathematics and related sciences are intrinsically interesting because they help people understand their environment.
In the classroom, Dr. Russo works to eliminate misunderstandings that students may have about mathematics and science and seeks to build students' self-confidence through facilitating a relaxed, non-judgmental learning environment. He realizes that students often find math and science difficult because they have been negatively influenced by previous learning experiences and says, "In fact, low self-esteem is highly correlated with the math and science anxiety syndrome."
To engage and stimulate students' enthusiasm for the subject area, Dr. Russo employs innovative teaching approaches. In the classroom, he encourages student questions and believes through inquiry we come to understand our world. He also incorporates field studies into his curriculum, such as trips to the interactive science museum in Naples.
As a research scientist for the Italian National Research Council (CNR) and a subject matter expert in the field of physical-chemistry of polymers, Dr. Russo is the author of more than 50 published articles in international scientific journals and has been a speaker at several national and international scientific congresses. He enjoys teaching students about the scientific applications of his research in biodegradable and renewable plastic materials.
Dr. Russo received a La Laurea di Dottore in Chimica from the University of Naples and participated in two years of polymer research at the University of Massachusetts . He plans to continue researching and teaching because he values sharing information with others.
Mr. Leroy "Bud" Brever initially joined the UMUC faculty in 1987 and has taught at numerous locations in Guam, Korea, Japan, and Singapore in addition to Okinawa. He also served as Coordinator of UMUC's program on Guam. His undergraduate degree is from Hawaii Pacific University; he holds an M.A. in public administration from Central Michigan University and an M.B.A. from Chaminade University in Hawaii. Mr. Brever was appointed as Coordinator, Computer Studies and Coordinator, Distance Education in April 1998. He has extensive teaching and administrative experience with both programs, having previously served as Computer Studies Coordinator during the 1989-1990 academic year. As distance education assumed steadily increasing importance in UMUC Asia he devoted his full energy to the DE program, serving as Distance Education Director through 2002, when he returned to full-time classroom and online teaching.
BJ Gleason has been teaching computer science and information systems classes for almost 25 years. He holds an Educational Specialist degree (Ed.S) in Computers in Education, as well as B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science, B.A. in Asian Studies, B.S. in Criminal Justice, M.S. in Educational Leadership, and is currently working on his PhD at Nova Southeastern University. In addition, Mr. Gleason holds over 25 computer industry certifications, including Microsoft MCSE, Cisco CCNA, CISSP and is a Certified Computer Examiner from the International Society of Forensic Computer Examiners.
Mr. Gleason first came to Korean in 1995 to teach with the University of Maryland, after having taught at that New Jersey Institute of Technology, Upsala College in New Jersey, and The American University in Washington D.C. He has extensive professional consulting experience, and has published papers and given presentations all over the world. Since joining the Asian Division faculty in 1995 he has taught in Korea, primarily at Yongsan.