Penn State Intercom......June
Department of Statistics
Schreyer Collaborative Award
Several members of the Department of Statistics, who designed and implemented changes to an introductory class taken by more than 2,600 students each year, have been honored with a Schreyer Institute Collaborative Award by the Schreyer Institute for Innovation in Learning. The award recognizes the efforts of the individuals and the impact of the restructured class, which made the educational process more engaging and meaningful to students, thereby improving their retention and understanding of course material.
Collaborators on the project were: Patricia Buchanan, instructor; Mosuk Chow, assistant professor; William Harkness, professor of statistics; Matthew Herbison, graduate assistant; Robert Heckard, senior lecturer; and Laura Simon, instructor.
Although the Schreyer Institute usually honors individuals with awards for innovation, it instituted a group award for the Department of Statistics because of the "remarkable collaboration" involved in the project.
The redesigned class, Statistics 200, was initially implemented during the fall 2000 semester as the result of a grant from the Pew Foundation's Learning and Technology Program with support from the Center for Academic Computing and several years of preliminary planning and work. As a result, the class was transformed from its traditional classroom-and-lecture format to a highly interactive, technology-based environment that encouraged group activities and team learning. Instead of three lectures and two recitation sections per week, students attended one lecture and two computer laboratory sessions each week.
Members of the course-redesign team created more than 50 laboratory activities from which students could select assignments to meet the needs of their individual groups. Some Web-based instruction was included and students worked more frequently with problems simulating real-life applications than with theoretical equations and formulas. The design allowed students to become more active participants in the educational process.
Statistics 200, a required course in about 60 majors, enrolls 2,200 students per year at the University Park campus, with an additional 400 students enrolled at other campuses. According to ongoing assessment efforts, the Schreyer Institute observed about a 20 percent improvement in tests of basic concepts compared to the traditional course and a reduction in the number of necessary teaching assistants from 12 to six.
According to its mission, the Schreyer Institute works to promote partnerships among faculty, staff and students to design and implement learning experiences that foster inquiry, initiative and teamwork.
Educator of Year
named at DuBois
A faculty member who incorporates real-world experiences into the classroom to help motivate his students to higher levels of achievement has been honored as the Educator of the Year at Penn State DuBois.
William J. Haering,
assistant professor of engineering, was selected for the 2000-01 award.
The Educator of the Year award is presented annually by the DuBois Educational Foundation, the campus advisory board. Students nominate faculty who best fit the criteria for the honor, which includes demonstrated enthusiasm, compassion and respect for students, and excellence in teaching and advising. The winner is selected by the foundation.
Haering was praised for his fairness in grading and assigning material, his attempts to include all students in classroom discussion and for making himself available to students even beyond regular classroom and office hours.
At DuBois, Haering teaches courses in engineering design and graphics, engineering mechanics and mechanical engineering and advises engineering students.
He is involved in research on flexible-body dynamics and engineering pedagogy.
He also assists with
the annual High School Technology Challenge sponsored by the campus Tech
Vice President's Awards
mark contributions, dedication
Staff members in Outreach and Cooperative Extension have been honored with Vice President's Awards for their contributions to the outreach mission of the University.
James H. Ryan, vice president for Outreach and Cooperative Extension, presented these awards on May 24:
President's Award for Outreach Leadership:
Michelle Rodgers, regional director, Capital Region, Cooperative Extension
and Outreach, for her leadership and vision as a champion of outreach
programs within the Capital Region and throughout the University.
President's Award for Innovation -- Pathfinder Award:
Maryann Frazier, senior extension associate, Cooperative Extension, and
team, for developing and delivering the annual Great Insect Fair. Team
members are Steve Jacobs and Greg Hoover, senior extension associates;
Lyn Garling, project associate; and Dave Love, safety and facilities,
Department of Entomology, College of Agricultural Sciences.
President's Award for Quality Enhancement:
Tracey D. Huston, director, Office of Outreach Communications, for her
leadership in creating a continuous quality improvement team to streamline
the planning and production of Penn State Outreach magazine.
President's Award for Customer Service:
Winifred McGee, extension agent, Lebanon County, Cooperative Extension,
and team, for coordinating the Capital Region food processor joint outreach
initiative, which assessed the education and training needs of small-
and mid-sized food processors and developed education programs to address
their needs. Team members are Warren Weaver and Dana Stuller, senior technical
specialists, Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program; Terry Riley, director,
Continuing Education, Penn State York; Steve Bogash, extension agent,
Franklin County Cooperative Extension; Luke LaBorde, assistant professor
of food science; Heather Koberle, conference planner, Conferences and
Institutes, Division of Continuing Education; Jim Fong, director, and
Ginny Pearson, research associate, Outreach Office of Marketing Research;
Eric Vorodi, extension agent, Dauphin County Cooperative Extension; Nancy
Wiker, extension agent, Lancaster County Cooperative Extension; and Ron
Smith, area representative, Continuing Education, Penn State Harrisburg.
President's Award for Partnership -- Bridge Builder Award:
Armando Villarroel, executive director of CREAD, the Inter-American Distance
Education Consortium, for his dedication to building "rainbow" bridges
and partnerships among individuals, academic institutions and organizations
to share resources and expertise throughout the Western Hemisphere.
President's Award for Diversity and Public Service -- Marybeth Reese Award:
Mary P. Miller, extension agent, 4-H/youth development, Montgomery County
Cooperative Extension, for her educational programs for at-risk youth
and her work in developing and delivering diversity programs for extension
agents and support staff and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program
advisers in the Southeast Region of Cooperative Extension. She also serves
on the Pennsylvania Diversity Catalyst Team.
President's Award for Special Contributions:
Lori Pacchioli, director of marketing, Penn State Public Broadcasting,
for her perseverance in successfully overcoming the challenges of a serious
medical illness while maintaining an outstanding level of accomplishment
in her role at Penn State Public Broadcasting.
celebrates several employees
Penn State Public Broadcasting celebrated outstanding accomplishments and employees during the annual awards luncheon on May 11.
Employees are nominated by their peers for notable contributions made during the year. The award winners for 2001 are:
operations -- Eileen Akin, Duane Champion, Carl Fisher, Amy Kelley, Bob
Reichley, Dave Watson, Brett Weaver, Al Wilson, John Wesdock and Bernie
Swanson and Jim Gugino.
Brenna Lorenz and James Forr.