TEACHING PROFESSIONALS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING: NICOLE DALZELL

The chair who nominated the recipient of this year’s Teaching Professionals Award for Excellence in Teaching succinctly relayed that this professor “is a superb example of what a teaching professional can be,” from curriculum development and professional development to undergraduate research support and classroom settings. The department chair and associate chair have both reviewed materials from this professor’s courses and, instead of finding them to just meet rigorous criteria, they have also “routinely used [them] as examples for new faculty members as appropriate ways to write syllabi and assignments.” Though students agree that this professor’s “courses are more challenging than the average course at Wake,” it is also true that her instructor rating is higher than the usual overall course rating.” As students describe, she holds “students to a high standard,” “communicates clearly, and is extremely aware of how her communication impacts different learning styles and levels of understanding.” This professor “single-handedly transformed how teaching is evaluated in the department” by developing a rubric for teaching evaluation and “dramatically improving evaluation methods” while “providing increased equity in each.” In addition, she personally makes class visits and peer evaluations for nearly all VAPs, and “her reports are clear and helpful.” It is also reported that “she gladly gives of her time to help the faculty member work on changes.” In her five years teaching in her department, this professor “quickly became one of the most popular and successful faculty members, irreplaceable in her work and in classroom support” for other professors in her department. This professor participates and leads departmental brown bags on teaching and earned a T-Cart Course (Re)Design grant as well as two rounds of Course Enhancement Funds. After designing four new courses for her department, she chairs the curriculum committee, “steering the future of a dynamic, rapidly developing program.” She serves as chair of a major professional organization section on Statistics and Data Science Education Mentoring, all while being “a sought-after research mentor for undergraduates, mentoring a whopping 22 senior theses in her five years at Wake. For these reasons and more, the Teaching Professionals Award in Teaching is awarded to Nicole Dalzell, Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics.

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