The core mission of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences is providing excellent training for our students, whether they are freshmen in their first Introduction to Psychology class or doctoral candidates finishing their dissertations.
We are fortunate to have talented and dedicated instructors in BBS. Their lessons extend well beyond the classroom and are fondly remembered by alumni for years after they graduate from UT Dallas. Faculty members interact with students in a variety of ways to ensure we provide the best training possible. Three recent recognitions awarded to BBS teachers highlight some of the diverse roles they play in students‘ lives.
Dr. Karen Huxtable-Jester received a UT System Regents‘ Outstanding Teaching Award. This award is the highest honor given to an instructor within the University of Texas System, requiring a rigorous panel review of candidates by students, peers and external reviewers. Huxtable-Jester was endorsed for not only being an inspirational, highly-effective classroom instructor, but also for providing guidance to other faculty about the most current and effective teaching methods.
Dr. Sven Kroener, was selected for the first Provost‘s Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring. This campus-wide award recognizes faculty for providing undergraduates with the necessary experiences to turn them into future researchers. Students use this hands-on, in-lab science to acquire invaluable skills and to gain an understanding of the complexities of conducting research. Kroener‘s students lauded the amount of time he spent teaching them techniques and for conveying his infectious love of research and science.
One of our most successful teachers, Dr. Aage Møller, created the Møller Teaching Award to recognize outstanding teaching in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. This year‘s recipient, Dr. Christa McIntyre-Rodriguez, earned particular praise from her students for the teaching she did in the Neuroscience Laboratory Methods class. She took what might be considered dry techniques and conveyed the excitement of scientific discovery through applying these methods to the brain and behavior.
Also in the school, we have clinical faculty who spend endless hours helping students learn how to become speech pathologists, audiologists and early child interventionists. Our clinical instructors sit with and observe students as they improve their clinical diagnostic and therapeutic skills. Other BBS faculty members present workshops and sessions to improve soft skills, such as giving oral presentations, interviewing well for jobs and writing successful grants.
The commitment of our teachers can be seen in the success of our students. For example, Rose Ashraf, a spring graduate with a bachelor‘s degree in psychology, received the first ever Mary McDermott Cook Outstanding Award — a campus-wide award given to a remarkable graduating senior. Ashraf continues to use the skills she learned at BBS as a first-year graduate student pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology at Southern Methodist University.
Another gratifying example of our efforts is the appointment of alumni Dr. Ted Price as a faculty member. He will join us for the spring 2014 semester. Price worked in a BBS faculty member‘s lab as an undergraduate prior to receiving a PhD in pharmacology and neuroscience. We are really pleased to welcome him back.
There are many ways to teach and many great teachers in BBS. I hope you have memories of teachers whose impact on you was important in shaping your career and life. If some of them were here at UTD, we would love to hear about them.