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The recipient of the 2014 General Education Distinguished Teaching Award is Dr. David Daniel, Professor of Psychology.

 

A member of the faculty here since 2008, Daniel received this award in recognition of 1) the measurable impact he has had on student learning and 2) his demonstrated ability to help students make interdisciplinary connections. He was chosen by a committee of five colleagues who also teach in the General Education Program. Committee members noted that “watching Dr. Daniel teach . . . was like watching a skilled performer; one who lectures with supporting technology and humor to communicate content and engage his audience to think critically.” Dr. Kristin St John, the committee chair and the recipient of last year’s award, said, “what stands out to the committee the most is Dr. Daniel’s passion for teaching and his ability to scaffold learning on a theoretical foundation, data-based evidence, and logical, critical thinking with multiple examples. In his own words, ‘I’m going to give you the steps, I want you to get the logic behind it.’”

 

Candidates for this award are nominated by their departmental colleagues. In Daniel’s case, his colleagues stressed his ability, despite the size of his classes, to show true care and concern for his students as individuals, and the way he serves “as an ever-present voice of support for [Gen Ed] courses when we, as a faculty, sometimes forget that there is a world of students beyond our majors.” In another nomination letter, Daniel’s department head emphasized many of the same themes: Daniel’s “tenacious” advocacy for general education in the department; his detailed attention to specific student needs, and his rigorous, evidence-based approach to teaching. Student evaluations echoed these accolades.

 

Daniel received his award in May at a celebratory lunch hosted by General Education for his department. In addition, he will give the keynote address at a closing banquet for the 2014 General Education Student Conference.

 

Daniel has received many other honors, as well. For more information, visit these links:

http://www.jmu.edu/news/2014/05/16-david-daniel-influential-researcher.shtml

http://www.psyc.jmu.edu/undergraduate/features/daniel.html

Daniel is the eleventh recipient of this award, which was established by the Provost’s Office in 2004. Previous Distinguished Teaching Award recipients are: Craig Abrahamson (2004); Carol A. Hurney (2005); Lynn S. Fichter (2006); Jeffrey T. Andre (2007); Michael A. Moghtader (2008); Kit Murphy (2009); John Ott (2010); Carole Nash (2011); Amanda Biesecker (2012); and Kristin St. John (2013).