Published 07/15/11

Honors for creative teaching

SMITHFIELD, R.I.  (July 15, 2011) -- The International Conference on College Teaching and Learning has honored two Bryant University faculty members for their creative teaching methods.

Allison G. Butler, Ph.D., assistant professor of applied psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, received a Distinguished New Faculty Award. (Recipients have three years or less of full-time teaching.) Jane McKay-Nesbitt, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing in the College of Business, received an Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology.

Butler's educational psychology expertise enabled Bryant to expand its course offerings, and she is at the forefront of the University's development of a teacher education program. She has conducted research on the use of popular films in educational psychology and made a presentation on the topic during the conference. "While using class time to show popular films is a pedagogical risk, engagement and learning data suggest it is one worth taking," she says.

Students of McKay-Nesbitt are fans of the way she incorporates a variety of instructional methods and her real-world experiences (she worked in banking in Canada before pursuing her doctorate) in her classroom. Regular use of clickers, team competitions and video case studies are among the reasons she receives strong teaching evaluations. During the conference, she presented a session on the art of engaging students.