Excellence in Teaching and Advising Awards announced
Mark Bambach, left, and David Barlow
Cihan Cobanoglu, left, and Terrence Harvey
Deborah Bieler, left, and Anthony Middlebrooks
April Veness, left, and Peter Rees
Adam Jabbur, left, and Jacquelyn Seaborg
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11:39 a.m., May 8, 2009----Eight University of Delaware faculty members received awards in recognition of their outstanding work in teaching and advising during the Honors Day celebration Friday, May 8. Two teaching assistants also received awards for excellence.

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Excellence in Teaching Awards

Four faculty members won Excellence in Teaching Awards, which are based primarily on student evaluations. Each winner will receive $5,000, have his or her portrait hung in Morris Library for five years and have a brick, inscribed with his or her name, installed in UD's Mentor Circle.

This year's Excellence in Teaching Awards were presented to Mark Bambach, instructor of marketing in the Department of Business Administration; David Barlow, associate professor of health and exercise sciences; Cihan Cobanoglu, associate professor of hospitality information technology; and Terrence Harvey, assistant professor of computer and information sciences.

Mark Bambach is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, holds a master's degree in business administration from LaSalle University and is slated to receive his doctorate this spring from Wilmington University. He has been involved in owning and running various companies and is a marketing consultant for small business and telecommunications businesses. He joined the UD faculty in 2000 and teaches marketing courses and also brings in recruiters for internships and jobs and helps students prepare for applications and interviews.

Bambach said he views teaching as a reciprocal relationship between teacher and student with each having responsibilities. “I believe that it is a fundamental mistake to see students as customers or clients” because that viewpoint “ignores the duties of students to their teachers, fellow students and themselves,” he said. He said it is a teacher's responsibility to stay current in their field and in the field of teaching, in order to know what to teach and the best way to teach it. “Finally, I aim to help students experience the world more richly, beyond the world of textbooks and inert facts” to become “reflective practitioners
and collaborative thinkers.”

David Barlow is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and has a master's degree from Pensylvania State University and a doctorate from Indiana University. He has spent 27 years in the Navy and Naval Reserve and retired as a captain.

Barlow is interested in biomechanical systems, equine biomechanics and the dynamics of functional anatomy. He has served as president of the Delaware Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and also the Kinesiology Academy of the National Association of Sport and Physical Education, AAHPERD (American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance) and received its Ruth Glassow Award for Contributions to Biomechanics from its Biomechanics Academy.

As a professor he teaches classes and labs in human anatomy, and his approach is to involve students in the learning process. “If I tell students something, they may retain some of it. If I show them something, they retain a little more, but if I involve them in solving complex questions, they grasp the concept and information more readily,” Barlow said. “It is my joy and pleasure in the class or lab -- using hands-on and problem-based learning -- to have students discover for themselves the answers to questions.”

Cihan Cobanoglu is a graduate of Cukurova University in Turkey, received his master's and doctoral degrees from Oklahoma State University and is a Certified Hospitality Technology Professional. He joined the University of Delaware in 2001 and is president-elect of the Faculty Senate.

He manages the eXperimental guestroom at the Marriott Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware hotel. He is editor of the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology and also has won two awards from the Decision Sciences Institute, a business organization, for his paper on information technology management in hotels.

“The recipe for success in this field is easy: great students, supporting faculty, staff and administration. I have it all. All I had to do is to mix them well,” Cobanoglu said. “I believe in active learning. I teach hospitalitiy technology. With the teaching hotel and restaurant, I can involve students in every aspect of technology selection and management. Our world-famous, award-winning experimental guestroom is a testament to this success.”

Terrence Harvey received his bachelor's degree in business administration and his master's and doctoral degrees in artificial intelligence computer science from the University of Delaware. He began his teaching career as a graduate student in 1995 and teaches general computer science, data structures and structure and theory of programming. He and Lori Pollock, professor of computer science, developed an innovative course teaching students to learn to manipulate Myro robots and to be involved in developing aids for teaching young children to use an XO laptop, which each had received from the One Laptop per Child program.

When teaching, Harvey said his approach is to “engage the students, give them a problem, show them tools and get out of the way.” One of his goals is to get every student “invested in the process.” He said “clickers” -- electronic devices that allow students to respond to multiple choice questions during a lecture -- are helpful in large classes and allow him to “monitor the class in real time.” He also is an advocate of Problem-Based Learning and its “potential to get students deeply involved in the fun of computer science.”

Excellence in Advising Awards

Four faculty members received UD's Excellence in Advising Award, an honor based on student evaluations. They will each receive $2,500 and be honored with an inscribed brick in Mentor's Circle.

The awards this year go to Deborah Bieler, assistant professor of English and coordinator of English education field placements; Anthony Middlebrooks, assistant professor in the Leadership Program of the Center for Community Research and Service in the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy; Peter Rees, associate professor of geography and coordinator of the Delaware Geographic Alliance; and April Veness, associate professor of geography with a joint appointment in the College of Human Services, Education and Public Policy.

Deborah Bieler received her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Delaware and her doctorate in teaching, learning and curriculum from the University of Pennsylvania. She was a part-time academic adviser in the College of Arts and Sciences and joined the UD faculty in 2005. She is a founder of New English Teachers for Social Justice, a support and action research group for new English teachers and has received a grant and award from the National Council of Teachers of English and a General University Research Grant and Women's Studies Faculty Summer Research Award from UD.

“Working one-on-one with students is an incredibly rewarding experience,” Bieler said. “I actually like the term 'mentoring' because it seems a better descriptor for what many faculty actually do. Mentoring involves a more holistic approach in which we invite students to talk about all aspect of their intellectual lives and professional aspirations and then help students think critically about and cultivate their interests.” Bieler said it was privilege to help “each unique student become the kind of professional he or she dreams of becoming.”

Anthony (Tony) Middlebrooks is an assistant professor in the Leadership Program in the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy. He received his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin Madison and joined the UD faculty in 2005. He developed a doctoral leadership program at Cardinal Stritch University before coming to UD and held numerous non-profit leadership positions prior to that.
At UD, he created two experimental leadership programs abroad -- one in Hawaii/Australia in 2008 and one in Stockholm/Paris/Barcelona in 2009.

Initially working with school-age children, Middlebrooks said he came to realize that people “are learning all the time from everything.” When he advised doctoral students, he discovered “what they wanted was someone to listen, support them, tell them the honest truth in a kind way and champion their success.” It is the same with undergraduates, he said. “I take a genuine interest in each student and do my best to guide them -- sometimes it is a simple answer, other times it is more complicated -- but it is always with their success in mind.”

Peter Rees is a graduate of McGill University and has master's and doctoral degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. His field is urban geography and the geography of Latin America. He has been involved in efforts to improve geographic education in school and helped found and was coordinator of the Delaware Geographic Alliance, whose goal was improving geography instruction in Delaware.

Rees said as a faculty member he always viewed all interactions with students as part of their education, in and out of the classroom. “To me, that means the goal of good advisement is to help students make the most of the totality of their experience at the University.” That goal prompted him to run the semester in Copenhagen program since 1985, direct more than 20 study abroad programs and coach the women's soccer club five years until it reached varsity status. “In each case,” he said, “I wanted to help students see how opportunities could enrich and broaden their university experience and lay the basis for a more fulfilling life.”

April Veness is a graduate of the University of Arizona and received her master's degree from Michigan State University and her doctorate from the University of Minnesota. She joined the UD faculty in 1986. Her field is urban/social geography.

Her recent research involved Guatemalan immigrants in Delaware and their families in Guatemala, and she coordinated a potable water project for a village in Guatemala. She has been an adviser to seven UD students involved in Guatemala and this summer, others, including four Engineers without Borders students, will join the team. In addition, she has mentored almost 100 students who have been engaged in Town-Gown projects in Newark from beautification to a hosting a Town Meeting. She and her students have received several grants supporting their activities here and in Guatemala.

Veness said for a decade her “research, teaching, advising and community service have been joined at the hip” before service learning, discovery leaning and civic participation were written into strategic plans. Of these experiences as an adviser and mentor, Veness said, “These intense and sometimes intimate interactions have created opportunities for growth and gratitude on all sides.”

Excellence in Teaching Awards for graduate students

Two graduate students, Adam Jabbur and Jacquelyn Seaborg, will receive $1,500 for their work as teaching assistants.

Adam Jabbur has a bachelor degree in history and English and master's degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is now specializing in the 20th century novel, and his dissertation is on American historical fiction.

Jabbur has taught at Northern Virginia Community College as well as at UD.

He said of his teaching, “Above all else, my writing courses are about writing, and above all else, my literature courses are about art. In either case, I hope to help my students to become the creators of their own knowledge, since, for me, education is about preparing students for the responsibilities of life.”

Jacquelyn Seaborg is a 2005 UD graduate and is working on her master's degree in music education and supervises student teachers and advises music education majors. She served as music teacher at the Ark Community Charter School in Troy, N.Y. where she created the music program for K-6 students and also the Ark Summer Adventure to help students develop academic and social skills. She received the National College Leadership Award in 2005 from Sigma Alpha Iota Women's Music Fraternity. Her current research focuses on music teacher preparation programs in colleges and universities across the country.

“Learning is a constant and fluid part of life,” Seaborg said. “As I teach my students, I encourage them to realize that there is no 'right' way to become a teacher, but that best teachers are constantly evolving to meet their students needs.” She said she tries to make lesson practical and applicable and very hands-on and that students learn working constructively with others and when they are actively engaged.

Her mother and grandmother were teachers and models for Seaborg. Her goal is to equip students with skills beyond the class. “It's not about what I teach, it's about how I can facilitate the desire to keep learning,” she said.

Article by Sue Moncure