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Teaching Excellence Awards Announced

Anthropology Professor Wins 2009 Teaching Excellence Award

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Jennifer Rehg, assistant professor of anthropology, recently won the 2009 Teaching Excellence Award at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville because she is "very passionate in delivering lectures" and has a very dynamic relationship with her students. The award is the most prestigious teaching award a faculty member can receive at SIUE. Rehg received a $2,000 prize as part of the recognition determined by the Teaching Excellence Award Committee, which consists of faculty and students.

The committee awarded Teaching Distinction Awards (tenure track faculty) to Alicia Alexander, an assistant professor of speech communications, and Cindy Schmidt, an associate professor of family health and community health nursing. They each won $500. The committee also awarded $500 for a Teaching Distinction Award (non-tenure track faculty) to William Wuller, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice.

In addition, seven other faculty members each were given $250 Teaching Recognition Awards-George Engel, a professor of electrical and computer engineering; Patricia Pearson, an instructor in psychology; Denise DeGarmo, an associate professor of political science; Daniel Segrist, an assistant professor of psychology; Erin Timpe, assistant professor of Pharmacy Practice and director of the SIUE School of Pharmacy's Drug Information Center; Christine Emling, an instructor in family health and community health nursing; and Renee Fussell, an instructor in speech communication.

Rehg joined the College of Arts and Sciences as an adjunct faculty member in 2003 and a year later was named assistant professor in a tenure-track position. Before coming to SIUE, Rehg was an instructor at the University of Illinois. She earned a baccalaureate in anthropology in 1995 at Washington University in St. Louis, where she graduated summa cum laude. She received a master's and a doctorate, both in biological anthropology and both at the U of I.

According to the committee, Rehg was found to engage her students by asking and answering questions during class. "Her passion for her discipline is evident in her classroom efforts," the committee wrote in its recommendation. "Dr. Rehg's dossier reflects her commitment to teaching and to the University. She has been instrumental in the development and improvement of the curriculum within the anthropology department, more specifically in the biological area of the department. It is evident to the committee that Dr. Rehg is passionate about teaching."

Alexander also has a passion for teaching that is made evident through plentiful interaction with and dedication to her students, according to the committee. "Her style of communication is clear, yet easygoing," the committee wrote in its recommendation. "She exhibits a modern teaching style that allows students to connect and actively engage in the lectures. Dr. Alexander utilizes short but effective interactive learning activities that stimulate interest. Her dossier reflects her commitment to life-long learning by fostering self-development and providing a nurturing environment."

She earned a bachelor of science in public relations in 1997 and a master of science in communication in 1999, both at Missouri State University, and a doctorate in interpersonal communication in 2004 at the University of Texas at Austin.

Before joining the SIUE School of Nursing faculty in 1978, Schmidt held teaching positions at the Missouri Baptist School of Nursing and had a practice position at what is now known as Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center. She earned a bachelor's, master's and doctorate, all in nursing and all from Saint Louis University. Schmidt has demonstrated her expertise in child care nursing through her classroom lectures and discussions with students, the committee wrote in its recognition for Schmidt. "Dr. Schmidt's teaching style encourages a lot of participation from students," the committee wrote. "Her management of test review with students has demonstrated her strong interests in students' needs and her commitment to quality assessment of student learning. She shows great compassion for students, encouraging them to share personal stories and relate the topic at hand to real-world experiences.
She continues to pursue her goal of helping "students become nurses who value professionalism, provide safe and competent care, and to remain actively engaged in the profession."

William Wuller is said to have "a mastery of his discipline" and an ability to "engage students in active learning," according to the recommendation from the committee. "He effectively engages in interaction with students in class," the committee wrote. "He also uses real-world examples, such as from current events, to illustrate his main points. He wants students to be prepared for situations that will arise in the workplace."

Wuller holds two degrees-a bachelor of science in pharmacy in 1971 and a master of science in pharmacy administration in 1990-both from the Saint Louis College of Pharmacy. Before joining the SIUE School of Pharmacy, Wuller had held positions at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville and was an instructor at the Saint Louis College of Pharmacy. He also has been a consultant for the pharmaceutical industry and for health organizations.

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