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Six faculty honored as 2018 WVU Foundation Outstanding Teachers

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Front to back: Todd Hamrick, Edward Flagg, David Martinelli, Dana Voelker, Malayna Bernstein and Carrie Rishel.
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Six West Virginia University faculty members have been selected for the 2018 Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching, which honors exceptional professors who go above and beyond to inspire their students. This year’s honorees are:

Malayna Bernstein, director, Learning Sciences Programs

• Edward Flagg, assistant professor, Physics and Astronomy

• Todd Hamrick, teaching associate professor, Fundamentals of Engineering

• David Martinelli, professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

• Carrie Rishel, professor and director, Integrated Mental and Behavioral Health Training Program

• Dana Voelker, assistant professor, Sport & Exercise Psychology

“Our Outstanding Teachers for the 2017-2018 academic year are all extraordinary educators, committed to incorporating best practices and real-world implications into their classrooms,” said Associate Provost for Academic Personnel C. B. Wilson, whose office administers the awards and who leads the selection committee each year. “This year, the scope of academic disciplines represented by our Outstanding Teaching Award recipients truly speaks to the across-the-board excellence of teaching at WVU.”

Established in 1985 by the WVU Foundation, the Outstanding Teaching Award honors faculty who are particularly effective, inspiring teachers or who have established patterns of exceptional innovation in teaching methods, course and curriculum design and instructional tools.

“We congratulate these six faculty members who go above and beyond in the classroom,” said B.J. Davisson, WVU Foundation vice president for development and chief development officer. “We are fortunate to have such top-notch teachers working with our students. Because of the generosity of our donors, the Foundation is pleased to be able to fund these awards annually.” 

Malayna Bernstein directs the Learning Sciences Program and co-directs undergraduate educational psychology, both in the College of Education and Human Services.  She teaches courses in qualitative research methods, educational psychology and English education and facilitates professional development for both professors and K-12 teachers. During her five-year tenure as co-director of the National Writing Project at WVU, Bernstein helped K-12 teachers develop skills to teach writing effectively across different focus areas. In her current work with the WVU ADVANCE Center, she supports faculty at WVU and other institutions who aspire to promote equity and institutional change.

Ned Flagg has taught the entirety of the undergraduate quantum mechanics curriculum to scores of students. He describes his own teaching as having dramatically “evolved” when he turned away from the traditional lecture format to pursue more innovative techniques first developed by the physics education research community for introductory physics courses. Flagg has used these teaching tactics to reform three different courses—Modern Physics and Quantum Mechanics 1 and 2—and has provided the resulting materials as integrated course packages to faculty at WVU and other institutions.

A WVU alum, Todd Hamrick joined the faculty in 2011 after a 22-year career in the engineering industry. He is a long-time mentor for youth organizations including Boy Scouts, 4-H, First Robotics and the award-winning Mountaineer Area Robotics. Hamrick is also a faculty member of Community Engagement of Science Through Art, a program that brings artists, scientists and engineers together for the design and construction of science-based educational art exhibits. His teaching style brings practical, innovative experienced-based learning to the classroom, where hands-on projects reflect real-world applications.

Throughout his 27 years at WVU, David Martinelli has promoted collective learning and individual engagement through an emphasis on critical thinking and the incorporation of guest speakers. In the classroom, he demonstrates the importance of contextual awareness through problem-solving in situations like traffic congestion, highway safety, energy dependence and infrastructure investment. He encourages his students make sure they understand the technical elements of any problem they wish to solve and then to fully embrace the reality that their solutions are not implemented in a vacuum.

As the director of the Rural Integrated Behavioral Health Training Program within the Masters of Social Work program, Carrie Rishel prepares students to apply a prevention-focused approach to meeting the behavioral health needs of rural and underserved populations. Through her teaching, she strives to support development that enables students to become leaders in implementing new service delivery models. She has been nationally recognized for her teaching scholarship and been awarded three federal grants from the US department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration to support the development of this program.

Dana Voelker is committed to enhancing the psychosocial well-being and performance of athletes and exercisers through the integration of evidence-based knowledge, leadership and pedagogy. She conducts community outreach and publishes in the area of leadership development. Her applied efforts include contributions to five student-athlete enrichment programs across three states. Voelker received a 2016 NCAA Innovations in Research and Practice grant to support a multi-site evaluation of Bodies in Motion, an educational program designed to promote positive body image in female college athletes.

Each of the six honorees will receive a $5,000 honorarium from the WVU Foundation and be recognized by President Gordon Gee and Provost Joyce McConnell at the upcoming faculty and staff awards dinner at Blaney House.

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CONTACT: Ann Claycomb
Assistant Vice President for Strategic and Academic Communication
304.293.9919; ann.claycomb@mail.wvu.edu

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