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Beeson voted Teacher of the Year for CGS

by Mary Helen Yarborough
Public Relations
For the third time in five years, Craig Beeson, Ph.D., was voted Teacher of the Year by first year Ph.D. students in the College of Graduate Studies (CGS).
The top teacher designation means that Beeson, an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, was voted as providing meaningful and functional lectures in an efficient and engaging manner. Beeson was selected from 10 nominees for the award, which now is in its eighth year.
The selection was made during a lunch retreat on April 15 in Gazes auditorium.
Beeson attended the retreat with several other nominees and admitted to being a bit nervous as students critiqued professors and related academic issues  prior to selection announcement.
“Anytime you put yourself out there, you always wonder if you hit the mark with the students,” Beeson said. “If you don’t, they’ll tell you. We’re training them to be critical thinkers, and they’re smart. ... I guess this means that I’m doing the right thing and have made the right points.”
The Teacher of the Year is “no beauty contest,” and many of the students’ criticisms and recommendations have been used to improve curricula, lecture structure; reign in unsatisfactory teacher performance; and even enhance efficiency in communication and cost-savings, said Perry Halushka, M.D., Ph.D., CGS dean.
“We have made changes based on student and faculty comments,” Halushka said. “Since we have been doing this, the difference in curricula between when we started to where we are now is amazing.”
Among areas needing improvement, students want better assurances that labs will be funded and that teachers be frank about the prospects of funding before a student commits.
Halushka said he is constantly seeking more funding for Ph.D. and other  programs, through applying for more training grants.
Meanwhile, for his student approval, Beeson got $250, renewed use of a free on-campus parking space, a plaque acknowledging being the outstanding teacher of the year and his name on a permanent plaque outside the college’s offices.


Friday, May 8, 2009

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