Art, Modern Languages Professors Receive Awards for Outstanding Teaching in College
Two professors were recognized in Spring 2010 by the College of Liberal Arts for excellence in classroom teaching and concern for students' welfare.
Student teaching evaluations ask, "How would you rate the instructor's overall performance in the course?" Jason Klodt’s advanced Spanish classes regularly have extraordinarily high percentages of students responding “Superior.”
According to peer evaluations, when students make assertions in the classroom, Klodt challenges them to explain what they mean and they are able to do so, said Donald Dyer, chair and professor of modern languages. "All of this takes place in a stress-free environment," Dyer said. "Students are totally engaged in the work and eager to learn. He is the best of the best, the master teacher and the students' advocate."
"[Klodt] is, when the situation calls for it, kind, patient, understanding, hilarious and stern. He is always unafraid, brilliant and a little bit crazy," wrote one student.
Dr. Klodt also has been selected as the 2010 Humanities Teacher of the Year for UM, an honor co-sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and the Mississippi Humanities Council. He will give a public lecture titled “Growing Up on Film: Youth and Disaffection in Contemporary Spain” on Monday, November 15 at 7pm in the Tupelo Room, Barnard Observatory.
Lou Haney thinks of UM as "a little big school" because it has the advantages of a large university with the collegiality of a small school. This collegiality is found in her foundational courses in art.
“I get to know my students as individuals,” Haney said. “I am able to watch them grow and mature throughout the semester and see them evolve as artists during their college career. Teaching someone to draw is as powerful as teaching someone to read.”
Sheri Fleck Rieth, chair and associate professor of art, said Haney loves to teach. "Whether they are students who have never had an art class or those who have some experience, she gives each one her time, encourages their efforts and cultivates their curiosity," Rieth said. "She is kind and respectful and yet presses them toward higher standards."
"Professor Haney arrives in the classroom ready to go to work," wrote a student. "She is not an easy professor, as she demands us to deliver, but she is fair and she is thorough. She pushes us toward discovering our own success."