Dr. Alison Doubleday, Assistant Professor, Oral Biology, and Dr. Fatemeh Afshari, Clinical Assistant Professor, Restorative Dentistry were selected to receive the 2013-14 Teaching Recognition Awards by peers through UIC’s Council for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL).
Thirty-two people applied for this year’s award. Recipients are selected by a CETL subcommittee of nine previous UIC faculty award recipients considers candidate statements, student feedback, peer reviews, course materials, mentoring of students, curriculum development, and implementation of new pedagogies and methods. The council was impressed with Dr. Doubleday’s and Dr. Afshari’s range of teaching activities and program development.
“The fact that this is a peer-reviewed award means a great deal to me,” Dr. Doubleday said. “There are many exceptional teachers at UIC and I’m flattered and humbled that my teaching is recognized in this way by other UIC faculty. I am passionate about teaching, and I believe the first priority and responsibility for all faculty members at educational institutions is to help guide and facilitate the learning process for students. Through our teaching, we can instill curiosity about the world, as well as a desire to make connections across disciplines. In doing so, we provide students with the means to become life-long learners and we set them up for success in any field.”
“It’s in our nature to always better ourselves and strive for the best no matter what we do,” Dr. Afshari said. “This is what I expect from my students—and myself.” Asking oneself “why” is crucial to learning, Dr. Afshari explained. “My philosophy has been to pursue my students to learn by asking this simple question and, in turn, seeking the answer via an evidence-based, self-directed quest. My philosophy coincides with the school’s mission of encouraging learners to become active participants in their own learning experience.”
“For me, awards like this reaffirm the importance that UIC places on student learning,” Dr. Doubleday said. “By recognizing and supporting the efforts of teachers, UIC is investing in student learning. Awards like this also encourage faculty members to try new teaching methodologies.”
“It’s nice to be recognized for the work we do as faculty on a daily basis and to be appreciated for our efforts,” Dr. Afshari. “These awards also assist the College of Dentistry in being recognized within the UIC campus.”
Dr. Afshari and Dr. Doubleday thanked colleagues and students who wrote letters of recommendation, faculty who have inspired them in their careers, and CETL.