Religion professor wins Teaching Excellence Award

By Jessy Anne Walters

Photo courtesy of Trevecca Marketing Department

Photo courtesy of Trevecca Marketing Department

A religion faculty member who is known for cheering on Trevecca sports teams and making students in large classes feel like more than number is the recipient of this year’s Trevecca Teaching Excellence Award.

Michael Jackson, associate professor of religion, on Thursday was named the 2015 recipient at the annual Teaching Excellence Convocation.

“I’m shocked. I’m kind of new on the scene and everything. It’s quite an honor,” Jackson said. “When you’re in these big classes sometimes you wonder is anything really happening here and you wonder if you’re really connecting.”

The teaching award is given every year to a faculty member who demonstrates excellence. Faculty and students vote for a winner and then a committee of faculty and administrators choose a winner from the finalists.

“I think that [Dr. Jackson] really emulates this award. He is an excellent instructor, an expert in his field, and he displays passion for teaching and passion for students. He is very holistic in the way that he approaches his career and is just a big supporter of the Trevecca community. And has great relationships with his students,” said. Amanda Grieme, chairperson of the committee that oversees the Teaching Excellence Award.

Professors must be full time employees and not on the committee in order to be eligible for this award.

They are chosen based upon three different surveys; students place their votes out of eligible professors on a survey, faculty place their votes on another survey, and the committee votes on an additional survey. In order for a professor to be moved into the consideration category they must have been ranked in two of the three surveys.

“I think what were really looking for is someone who can really walk that line of being a great instructor, but also having a strong connection with students,” said Grieme.

After the committee then choose a recipient based off of five different domains; instructor knowledge, method of instruction, instructor/student rapport, Teaching behaviors, enthusiastic teaching, and concerns for teaching.

“Serving and helping to edify is really what it’s all about,” said Jackson.

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