The subject matter with which three College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty members who have been chosen to receive 2012 North Carolina State University Outstanding Teacher Awards is disparate, ranging from economics to leadership and human-animal interactions. But all three share a commitment to imparting knowledge.
Dr. Jennifer Campbell, teaching assistant professor in the Department of Biology; Dr. David Jones, assistant professor, Department of Agricultural and Extension Education; and Jonathan Phillips, lecturer in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, are among 15 faculty members across the university chosen to receive Outstanding Teacher Awards.
Award recipients, who are selected from among nominations by students and faculty, are eligible to receive the Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching and Alumni Distinguished Professor Award. They also become members of the university’s Academy of Outstanding Teachers.
Campbell, who joined the CALS faculty in 2007, created and teaches courses on human-animal interactions and captive animal biology. She says the human-animal interaction course is designed for people who are interested in animals and want to explore the often complicated relationship between humans and animals, including the ethics of the relationship.
Captive animal biology focuses on managing animals in zoos and aquariums, and Campbell’s students are frequently involved in projects at the North Carolina Zoo. Last year, her students were involved in redesigning the zoo’s ocelot and river otter exhibits. Campbell, who worked as a zookeeper before pursuing a doctorate, also teaches animal anatomy and physiology and coordinates the undergraduate zoology degree program.
Jones’ focus in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education is leadership. He teaches four courses that focus on leadership development along with a course on making professional presentations. He also serves as coordinator of the Leadership in Agricultural and Life Sciences minor program, which is increasingly popular with students.
“My purpose is to make a positive difference in the lives I come in contact with,” says Jones, who joined the CALS faculty in 2006. “I hope every day I’m going to make a positive difference in my students’ lives that will lead to success in life. I try to live that purpose.”
Phillips, who joined the CALS faculty in 1999, teaches undergraduate and Agricultural Institute courses. He teaches courses in human resource management for small businesses and microeconomics.
He calls the first-year introduction to economics course “econ for everyone who doesn’t want to take econ” and sees the course as an opportunity “to get students to know a little about economics.” Some of those students find economics so interesting they take economics as a second major or even switch majors to economics.
Phillips also teaches a personal finance course in the Agricultural Institute in which students acquire such enduringly useful knowledge as how to fill out a 1040 income tax return without using TurboTax. Phillips credits Dr. Herman Sampson, also a lecturer in Agricultural and Resource Economics, with serving as a mentor and helping him become an excellent teacher.
Phillips says teaching is valued in his department and that departmental emphasis on teaching has helped him hone his teaching skills.
“I really feel that knowledge is more powerful if you can teach it to someone else,” he says.
Written by: Dave Caldwell, 919.513.3127 or firstname.lastname@example.org