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Past Winners of the Teacher of the Week

Amy Smith


The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) recognizes Amy Smith, instructor of Population Health Sciences, for setting high standards for her students and motivating them to do their best and reach the objectives of her classes.

Amy teaches both PHS 1514 (Personal Health) and PHS 3534 (Drug Education) in the online format during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Enrollment in the fall and spring courses is around 500 each, so over the academic year she teaches 2000+ students. Another 150-200 take her classes over the summer. Thus, Amy teaches about 10% of the Virginia Tech undergraduate students. She accepts this challenge with great enthusiasm and dedication.

Amy makes what could be an automated, impersonal experience for her students into an engaging, exciting, and relevant course. Amy understands the multiple realities of undergraduate life, and in particular the health risks students face. She frames the courses around these risks with the goal of empowering students to make sound health decisions limiting their risk. Amy does this through selection of content and use of multiple methodologies and strategies relevant to the age group. She creates a learning environment that empowers students to their best.

Amy consistently receives outstanding teaching evaluations with high percentages of students reporting ("Strongly Agree" or "Agreeing") that Amy was well prepared, presented the subject matter clearly, provided feedback to improve course performance, and that her teaching was effective.

Student comments are overwhelmingly positive. Comments such as “if I ever had questions or concerns she would get back to me in a very respectful and helpful way”; “She gave a very detailed syllabus and clear instructions of what was expected of us”; and “I absolutely loved this course. I learned a ton of material.” This is remarkable considering the size of her classes. A colleague, Dr. Kerry Redican, who works closely with Amy stated that “Amy has such a heart for undergraduate students that she consistently goes the un-demanded mile in helping them.”

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Teacher of the Week

The goal of the Teacher of the Week program is to recognize effective, engaged, and dynamic teachers. Please consider nominating a teacher; the process is clear and concise (no dossiers; see nomination page).

View Past Winners

A list of the past winners is available.