2004 Distinguished Teaching Awards

Suzanne Bergeron, Assistant Professor of Women's Studies

Susan Bergeron, Assistant Professor of Women's Studies, is recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award in the non-tenured category. Professor Bergeron is an energetic, talented, and engaged teacher who strives to create bridges between students' experiences and the course content, and between outside events and that content. Among the numerous examples of Professor Bergeron's commitment to students is her role as director of the Women in Leadership and Learning program, her active involvement in the Women on the Move Program, her direction of students in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program, and her sponsorship of student work for the Meeting of Minds conference. As one student noted of a recent lecture that Professor Bergeron voluntarily delivered at the Scott Correctional Facility, "I learned more about my race in this one class than in the last 20 years." Another student stated, "I can honestly say Dr. Bergeron is the Professor that has had the greatest impact on my life as a student;" a third exclaimed, "Professor Bergeron is certainly the most active and dedicated teacher at UM-D. I still weigh the moral implications of the issues presented in her "Modernization and its Discontents" Honors Seminar, which, meeting on September 11, 2001, eloquently demonstrated the timeliness of the academy's relationship with the most harrowing of unfolding events. Only a truly gifted teacher could rationally discuss the international order on such a day."

Donna Cash, Adjunct Lecturer in Mathematics

Donna Cash, Adjunct Lecturer in Mathematics, is recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award in the supplemental category. For twenty-six years, Professor Cash has quietly, diligently, and without fanfare taught a wide range of freshman and sophomore mathematics classes, all with remarkable success. Professor Cash is a "teacher's teacher," who is adept at teaching mathematics to students with diverse backgrounds and levels of preparation, and who is motivated not by the pay she receives but by the sense of satisfaction she gets from helping students. A compassionate teacher, Professor Cash encourages her students to be persistent, to develop good study habits, and to be responsible for their own learning. As one former student writes, "It is not everyday that you come across a professor that has the power to change the way you think, understand, and learn a particular subject--especially mathematics." As another student puts it, "She goes the extra mile for her students and makes a hard subject understandable…the best math teacher I've ever had….actually, the best professor I've had in my life!!!"

Jane Sheldon, Assistant Professor of Psychology

Jane Sheldon, Assistant Professor of Psychology, is recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award in the non-tenured category. Professor Sheldon's dedication to teaching is demonstrated in countless ways, including the "teaching tips" newsletter she co-authored for faculty, the graduate school brochure she created for students interested in pursuing that direction, the web site that she created for faculty and students in the Women's Studies program, her scholarly contributions to journals of pedagogy, and the daily innovations she brings to her classes to promote active learning. Professor Sheldon has developed an unparalleled following among students, who are effusive with their praise. Of her courses, one notes, "… easily the best psychology professor I've ever had here…a 5-star professor." On her classroom technique, another exclaims, "Her style allows for an energetic and innovative environment to exist in the classroom. It enables students to feel poised and confident in their ability to learn." On the feedback she gives to student papers, one student says, "..She read, reread, then read again and provided each student with personalized comments on where as well as how to improve…" On her availability to students, another states, "She said we could phone her at home, up to 11pm, any day of the week….That's dedication to teaching; that's going the extra mile." And finally, on the difference she has made in their lives, one student says, "All I know is my life would be drastically different had I not had the pleasure of knowing her." Another echoes the remarkable impact she has on students, "….she is that once-in-a-lifetime influence that can positively change a person."