Professor Lauded for Making Classroom Experience Feel Personal
Aug. 23, 2013
Dr. Daniel Arce is known for his ability to connect with students individually within a large class setting.
UT Dallas professor Dr. Daniel Arce is known for his high standards and high-caliber teaching in some of the program’s largest classes.
Dr. Denis Dean, dean of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, said the logistics of big classes often are tough for teachers, but Arce excels in the situation.
“His students learn the subjects; their performance in subsequent classes proves that,” Dean said. “And despite the fact that he holds their feet to the fire and holds them to high standards, his students enjoy his classes – the teaching evaluations prove that. Not many faculty members could pull off that combination of results.”
After 22 years in education, including six years at UT Dallas, Arce’s teaching recently has been recognized with the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. Arce is one of five UT Dallas faculty members to receive the 2013 award.
During a previous term as economics program head, Arce assigned himself to teach principles of microeconomics. Arce will again lead the program starting Sept. 1.
He encourages participation and gives frequent quizzes. He requires each student to demonstrate mastery of the notion of supply and demand.
Dr. Daniel G. Arce
TITLE: Economics professor
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Business ethics, collective action, game theory, terrorism and Latin American economies
OTHER ACCOLADES: Received two Fulbright grants (1985-86, 1993) for study and research in Latin America
“I think it’s important to be rigorous, relevant and authentic in teaching,” he said. “I enjoy teaching the large sections of principles. It’s sort of an introduction to college for the students. You want them to understand how to think critically and how to be continually engaged with the class.”
Arce also teaches managerial economics, the largest enrolled course in economics at the senior level.
The professor works to get to know his students individually. He learns all his students’ names so he can call on them in class and thank them by name when they turn in assignments.
He also strives to stay at the forefront of technology.
Arce has used a tablet in the classroom for the last nine years, including wireless versions for the last four years. This allows him to leave the lectern and roam among the students while lecturing.
He has an open-door policy and is committed to giving timely feedback.
Arce also gives students the opportunity to anonymously provide him with feedback through midterm course evaluations. He wants to make sure he honors his commitment to making each class worthwhile.
To former student Rabeea Khan BS’09, Arce has succeeded.
“As an undergraduate student whom very little can motivate to get out of bed at 7 a.m., microeconomics was a subject for which I regretted missing class,” Rabeea wrote in a joint nomination letter with her sister Zainab to the award selection committee. “I savored every moment of the short 1 hour and 15 minutes of class.”
Zainab BS’12 added her admiration for Arce’s care about each student. He “goes above and beyond to make sure that every student understands the material he teaches,” she wrote.
Arce said he is delighted by the acknowledgement from the UT System.
“We can never forget that the students are who we’re here for,” Arce said. “That’s ultimately the role of a professor. In the end, it is all about the students.”
Arce has a PhD in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned his master’s degree at Western Michigan University and his bachelor’s degree at Olivet College.