Today: Jun 24, 2024

Psychology Professor recognized with award

Ivylee Rosario – News Reporter

Ivylee Rosario | General Assignment ReporterProfessor of the year, Deborah Carroll, working in her office.
Ivylee Rosario | General Assignment Reporter
Professor of the year, Deborah Carroll, working in her office.

If Professor Deborah Carroll had to choose one word to describe her feelings about winning the Professor of the Year Award, she said it would be surprised.

“I knew I was nominated but for it being a national award, I never expected to win,” said Carroll.

Professor Carroll is a full-time faculty member in the Psychology department at Southern. She is the director of Research Specialization for the bachelors of science program in psychology. She also is the coordinator of Southern’s Writing Across the Curriculum program or better known to students as W-courses.

Carroll believes that boring lectures, she said, shouldn’t surround teaching but instead it should be about engaging students to learn the material.

“I think that Dr. Carroll’s excellence in teaching is due to the combination of several factors,” said Dr. James E. Mazur, professor of psychology. “She is a very clear and organized speaker who can present complex information in ways that students can understand.  She has found ways to combine traditional teaching methods such as lectures and exams with modern teaching technologies.”

Carroll uses unique strategies in her classroom to ensure that her students are learning the information effectively and not just memorizing it.

“I try to engage my students, whether its something weird or through song and dance,” said Carroll. “I ask for their feedback and let them choose what we learn for each class so if a student doesn’t understand something, we will work on it until they do.”

The Professor of the Year award is provided by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and is a national teaching award competition for professors.

“For Dr. Carroll to be named a recipient for the State of Connecticut is quite an honor, not only for our State but for SCSU in particular,” said Dr. Cheryl Durwin, assistant chairperson and professor of psychology.

Carroll feels the award reflects her hard work with her students and her love for teaching, she said.

“It means a lot. I love what I do and it’s nice to be recognized for my work,” said Carroll. “It calls attention to some of the things I do and how I work with other teachers to use these techniques.”

Carroll’s colleagues had nothing but praise and appreciation for both her work ethic and her caring personality.

“Over these years not only have I gotten to know her quite well, but I have learned that Debby is the ‘go-to’ person whenever I have a curricular, student, or technology-related educational or teaching issue or concern,” said William Sherman, professor of psychology. “Her expertise is so broad, she is involved in so much of the running of our department, and her willingness to help is so sincere, that it has been easy for her to take on the role of unofficial mentor.”

Most of the psychology department recognized Carroll as the “mother hen,” she said.

Carroll uses an array of techniques to get her students to understand the material, incorporating real life scenarios and relating the topics to events in the students’ lives.

“What better way to get a student to apply the material than to use it towards something personal in their own life?” said Carroll. “That way they can remember the information and apply it to real life instead of just memorizing it and spitting it back out for some test.”

In order to be nominated for the Carnegie Foundation’s Professor of the Year award, professors have to submit a curriculum form, have written letters of recommendation from colleagues and have to use new techniques of teaching that have been recognized by others. This year there were 300 nominees and 30 awards were given out.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog