ACADEMIC AFFAIRS

CELEBRATION OF EXCELLENCE: FACULTY AND STAFF AWARDS

Craig Werner Celebrations of Excellence:  President’s Awards Recipients

What was your motivation in agreeing to have your name put forward?

I was pleased to be noticed and recognized.  I have greatly enjoyed the service component of my job, and I knew that if I were to receive the award, it would be for projects (some of which were voluntary) that I took pleasure in, and not for less enjoyable functions that I was called upon to perform.

What was most positive about receiving your President’s Award?

I was pleased to be noticed by colleagues I had respect for, and I was pleased to have been rewarded by an organization that has given me so many happy work hours.

What was the most significant adjustment that you had to make, or insight you gained, during your career, related to your chosen area of excellence?

I did not realize (until well into my BSC career) that I had an extensive service record.  I have always aspired to be an effective teacher, but when I started work, I did not aspire to be on a service track, so to speak.

In looking at colleagues who are just about to get started on something new in your chosen area, what advice would you give them?

Make the project important to you, expecting neither praise nor recognition.  Motivation has to come from within.  Always try to show others the joy you are taking in your work.

Describe the most powerful intrinsic satisfaction you have had from this area of excellence in your career.

I have immensely enjoyed and profited from sharing work with others.  It’s as simple as that.

 
 

Lori Till:  Celebrations of Excellence:  Recipient, President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Advisement 

What was your motivation in agreeing to have your name put forward?

I wanted to share with my colleagues the significant benefits and outcomes that result from the efforts (time, college contacts, counseling) of advising students. I thought this was an opportunity to highlight the concept of the BSC team when it comes to advising students, in that relationships with the department chair and supportive offices on campus (i.e. Admissions, Registrar, Academic Standards) are critical to the success of sound and accurate academic advisement. In addition, I wanted to share the concept of pre-advisement for graduation which should begin the September prior to December, May, and August graduation since this greatly reduced the number of graduation deficiencies from previous years.

What was most positive about receiving your President’s Award?

I enjoyed the idea of being recognized for an award that encompassed a lot of time, effort, and many years of developing relationships with BSC colleagues with the ultimate outcome of benefiting our Hospitality Administration graduates. It is very humbling to be publically recognized for something that I would be doing otherwise, since I professionally and personally benefited from the outcomes of these efforts.

Help others to understand the sense of pride you experienced when you learned that you had received the award.

I felt a sense of pride for this recognition since I knew it was a result of much time and effort, working with colleagues, department and students. The Convocation just made this award more visible to others, and I really felt a sense of pride knowing that my efforts were shared with others than those whom I had been working with all along.

How did you keep your area of excellence (e.g., teaching, mentoring, scholarship, service) a high priority in your career, in spite of competing demands?

I have been a full-time faculty member at Buffalo State College since fall 1985. I have always been grateful for having chosen a career that provides so much professional and personal gratification. I knew that higher education encompassed many responsibilities to include the academic advisement of our undergraduates. I kept this as a high priority despite the many other increasing pressures to perform (teaching, scholarship, community service) because our students are our clients.

I purposely carved out, and continue to carve out specific weekly timeframes dedicated only the HA majors and their advisement needs particularly transfer advisement, academic petitions and degree checks. At times this has been very challenging, but I have made this a priority knowing that the outcomes far outweigh my time and effort.

I have one story that comes to mind. I give my cell phone out to Debbie Daniels the department secretary, in case she needs to reach me and this is also the number I share with my students. On a sunny July day, our family was picking blueberries when my cell phone went off:  a student was on the line with several advisement questions.   Very honestly, I didn’t mind the call as this discussion resolved the student’s issue in several minutes; my family members smiled, and were not surprised, as this occurs rather frequently. They have become very accustomed to my on-going commitment to my students.  


Kathleen O’Brien:  President’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service

What was your motivation in agreeing to have your name put forward?

When approached, I was humbled and flattered.  I appreciated the public recognition of my work, and felt very happy to be nominated.

What was most positive about receiving your President’s Award?

The ceremony itself was tremendous.  I felt a really close connection to the whole event, the keynote speaker, the other award recipients.  It left me with the feeling that I should be there to support future recipients.  I made myself a promise:  "Don’t miss another occasion".  I was honored by the experience, and most appreciative of my nominators.

Help others to understand the sense of pride you experienced when you learned that you had received the award.

When I saw the nomination package, and read what others had written, I felt honored.  Reading their letters, I gained insight into other people’s perceptions of me.  What had been very intangible became real.  Then, when I learned I received the award, I also felt respected, and excited.

What was the most significant adjustment that you had to make, or insight you gained, during your career, related to your chosen area of excellence?

I realized that, like all the people with whom I worked on committees, I had
a deep desire to help others.  My commitment to excellence is fundamentally a way of reciprocating.  I feel compelled to reciprocate, for all I have been given, to make the college an even better place. 
To do this, I feel that at times I must be a risk taker.  Many projects need champions, and I am committed to doing what is needed.  I look at my work as part of the bigger picture, and keep things in perspective.

In looking at colleagues who are just about to get started on something new in your chosen area (e.g., develop a new course, begin in a new arena of service, start a new research or scholarly project), what advice would you give them?

Branch out of your area.  Meet as many people as you can.  There are so many amazing people at the college and in the community:  get to see other perspectives outside your own department.

Collaborate.  Don’t do things on your own.  If you partner with others, you will gain new input, have new ideas.



Sean Hudson:  Celebrations of Excellence:  President’s Awards Recipients

What was your motivation in agreeing to have your name put forward?

It was a great honor to have been nominated by my peers.

What was most positive about receiving your President’s Award?

The most positive aspect was reading the letters written by current and prior supervisors and coworkers. I still keep them near my desk and pull them out every now and then when I need a boost.

Help others to understand the sense of pride you experienced when you learned that you had received the award.

I was grateful to the College, and my mentors, for all the opportunities Buffalo State College has allotted me -- both as a student and now a staff member. I felt earning this award was actually a mirror for those at the College, reflecting their contributions to my experiences.

What was the most significant adjustment that you had to make, or insight you gained, during your career, related to your chosen area of excellence?

I had to make a conscious effort to acknowledge that every day was a brand new day in learning. This frame of mind enables me to constantly increase my skillset, improve my knowledge, and improve my interactions with faculty, staff and students.

Describe the most powerful intrinsic satisfaction you have had from this area of excellence in your career.

I remember all the challenges of being a student at Buffalo State College.  Knowing that, in some small way, I am reducing student anxiety by a phone call, an interaction, or an improvement to the Degree Navigator audit system, that is the greatest intrinsic satisfaction of all. 


Leslie Day:  Celebrations of Excellence:  President’s Awards Recipients

What was your motivation in agreeing to have your name put forward?

I was honored to be recommended for the President’s Medal by the Chair of my department.  The recognition of excellence was most appreciated and validated much of the work I had been doing for our teacher candidates for many years.

What was most positive about receiving your President’s Award? 

The thrill of being recognized and rewarded in front of colleagues at the Convocation.  My family came to Buffalo to support this recognition and really turned the event into a special occasion. 

Help others to understand the sense of pride you experienced when you learned that you had received the award. 

In education, it is common to work hard for the good we know we are doing, but it is often a solitary effort in terms of others understanding the effort.  The reward of working with teacher candidates is often reward enough, but taking it to another level with the President’s Medal was very special and exhilarating. 
Seeing my efforts recognized by my Chair and colleagues truly validated my life’s work.  Celebrating the difference I was making in our teacher candidates’ careers and recognizing the support I offered the department was a wonderful moment personally and professionally.

In looking at colleagues who are just about to get started on something new in your chosen area (e.g., develop a new course, begin in a new arena of service, start a new research or scholarly project), what advice would you give them?

Commitment to our students, department, and college should always be uppermost in our colleagues’ minds and actions.  Going beyond your own research agenda or the minimum requirements of teaching can be marvelously rewarding and also challenging.  I hope that the colleagues we hire aspire to this challenging and worthwhile goal. 

Receiving medals and recognition are always most welcome, but the daily rewards of a job well done are really what inspire me to excel.  I love to see the smiles and joy on the faces of students I have advised well.  I thrive when the thank you notes and small tokens of appreciation pour into my office at the end of the semester.  I breathe a collective sigh of relief when I have successfully solved a challenging issue with a student or stopped the "Buff State Shuffle" and found a solution to a sticky situation.  The everyday rewards make all the difference in my life.  The President’s Medal was "icing on the cake."



Susan Leist: Celebrations of Excellence, Promotion to Distinguished Rank

What was your motivation in agreeing to have your name put forward?

I really felt that I deserved the promotion to Distinguished Teaching Professor, although it came too late in my career to have optimal impact. In my tenure document, at the time of my INITIAL review, I wrote that my “best self” exists in the classroom. I did believe that then, and I still do. To seek the capstone reward for the passionate dedication to my life’s work that I have always practiced seemed a suitable thing to do.
I was fortunate enough, as well, to have a supportive colleague who was willing to do the arduous tasks involved in the nomination process. She exhorted and supported me.

What was the most positive aspect of receiving your promotion?

My own validation and gratification.  The care and pleasure from my family. The congratulations of my colleagues. The loving communications from my students, present and former.

Help others to understand the sense of pride you experienced when you learned that you had been promoted to the rank of Distinguished.

The Distinguished rank in all of the state systems is the highest honor that can come to any professor. It means that one’s administrators and colleagues, one’s peers, on both the local and the state level, have recognized her in a permanent way.  It means that one’s students, in significant numbers, have attested to her seminal influence on them.  It means that all of those hours one spent in preparation, dissemination, nurturing, accommodating, evaluating, and fostering have MEANT something to people.  It means that one HAS established a legacy that can become an agency for change.   There are few sources of professional pride mightier than promotion to the rank of Distinguished Professor.

How did you keep your area of excellence (e.g., teaching, mentoring, scholarship, service) a high priority in your career, in spite of competing demands?

Actually, that was not hard. I always knew that teaching was the most important thing that I was on campus to do. Though I had membership on an average of nine committees a semester, directed or coordinated programs, chaired major College Senate committees, and chaired the College Senate for three years, it was the students who had to get first attention. In some semesters when they got deprioritized, I felt ashamed of myself.  That I enjoyed the classroom so much made things easier. I think, though, that any professor must remain committed to his prime area of effectiveness in order to keep it as a priority.

Describe the most powerful intrinsic satisfaction you have had from this area of excellence in your career.

This most powerful intrinsic satisfaction would be the satisfaction that I feel every time I see a former student, hear about their successes, and, more so, see them happy. I have seen and spoken to multitudes of former students her in Buffalo and all over the country after they have left campus. I have heard about their successful professional lives. I have gone to sessions presented at national conferences by former students who have done doctorates. I have gotten letters from them about their tenure and promotion. I have copies of their books. I have seen them teach. I have heard about their department chairpersonships .I talk to them on the phone about ideas and strategies.  I feel such pride in them that, after every time it happens, I smile for weeks!


Ann Colley: Celebrations of Excellence, Promotion to Distinguished Rank

What was your motivation in agreeing to have your name put forward?

I liked the idea that my extensive scholarly work would be recognized by the whole of the State University of New York. I especially was drawn to the possibility because Buffalo State has rarely been recognized in this way. I believe I am the third or fourth person in the entire history of the College to receive a SUNY Distinguished Professorship.

What was the most positive aspect of receiving your promotion?

The most positive aspect was the support I felt from colleagues and administrators. It was also satisfying to have made public what is so often a solitary activity, doing research and writing.

How did you keep your area of excellence (scholarship) a high priority in spite of competing demands?

I have always felt compelled to do research and write.

My main reason for being an academic is to follow an idea, to dig in archives, to explore possibilities, and to take risks. As a result, even though I have given much of my time to various College committees and to my teaching, I have never lost touch with a project I am working on.

I work on weekends, at night, in my spare time, and in the summers. You might say I am "driven."  Doing research and writing is an important part of my life, so I stick to these activities.

In my mind, my context is the larger intellectual community. I am not confined to Buffalo State, but have connections with active Victorian scholars (as well as other scholars) all over the world and throughout North America. I have been fortunate to work is some of the world’s most prestigious libraries and have met curators as well as other scholars through these venues. This broader context puts all the competing demands in perspective and reminds me of what is important to me as an academic.

 
 

David Carson: Celebrations of Excellence, Promotion to Distinguished Rank

What was your motivation in agreeing to have your name put forward?

I had mixed emotions about being put forward for consideration for DSP.  I have never been one for a lot of self promotion, and I didn’t want others to think that of me.  I did, however, consider the number of faculty from my department who have been given that distinction over the years, and I felt that "if I did the work that would allow me to reach that status" I would be carrying on the valued and honorable tradition of service that they had established.  It is important to me that my department continue that tradition, and I felt as though I should do my part.

What was the most positive aspect of receiving your promotion?

Perhaps the most positive aspect of receiving the promotion is it brings with it both the freedom and the obligation to work to make Buffalo State and SUNY all that it can and should be.  The work now doesn’t need to be the result of a need to pad a resume or to impress a dean.  The work now can be entirely the result of a desire to help Buffalo State reach its full potential.

Help others to understand the sense of pride you experienced when you learned that you had been promoted to the rank of Distinguished.

Pride can be a tricky thing.  I was proud when I learned of the vote of the SUNY Board of Trustees, I knew that I was now a part of a select group of faculty from across this great system.  But more than anything, I felt humbled, and I felt as though I had an even greater obligation to keep doing the things that had earned for me the title of Distinguished Service Professor.

How did you keep your area of excellence a high priority in your career, in spite of competing demands?

In my time at Buffalo State, there have been four Distinguished Professors in my department.  There were three others before I came here.  So, the concept of service, the concept of "distinguished" service, is a part of the culture in my department.  I love teaching, and I was honored in 1999 when I received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, because excellence in teaching is also a part of the culture in my department.  But I think that service is the area in which my department has, over time, made its greatest contribution to the college and to SUNY.  Once the doors of opportunity began to open for me to serve the department, the school, the college, and the system, it was clear that that was where my efforts should be directed.

Also, at some point, and I can’t easily identify when exactly this happened, service became a labor of love.  It sounds trite and corny, but I grew to truly love Buffalo State.  I have been on the faculty here for over half my life and it seems only natural that if I’m going to spend the rest of my life here I would want to work as hard as possible to make this the kind of place that I believe it can be.  I can’t imagine not caring, and I can’t care without serving. 


  

Betty Cappella, Celebrations of Excellence, Promotion to Distinguished Rank 

What was your motivation in agreeing to have your name put forward?

My professional career has been marked by service to my campus and community. Recognition of my work validates the notion that as professors, we owe a substantial debt to our colleagues and to the greater community at large and one significant way to pay this debt is by applying ones academic expertise in dedicated service. 

What was the most positive aspect of receiving your promotion?

I have been told by junior colleagues that my work in the area of service has inspired them to give back to the campus and community.  As well, I have been told by community and industry leaders that they consider my academic support to be of paramount importance in helping the community address social and educational challenges from an informed perspective.  As well, I have always worked to achieve an organized professional dossier.  As such, I have updated my vitae every six months and maintained a file of substantiating documentation for every line in my curriculum vitae.

Help others to understand the sense of pride you experienced when you learned that you had been promoted to the rank of Distinguished.

I was raised by my Italian grandmother and father in an Italian-speaking household.  I first learned to speak English when I was enrolled in elementary school in Depew, New York.  We had very little money.  As I child, I joined my father as a seasonal worker, picking produce from the fields of western New York farmers.  Even so, my father always emphasized the importance of education, indicating that it was something that could never be taken away.  Although my grandmother and father were dead by the time I achieved the rank of Distinguished Service Professor, I know they would have been proud.  I achieved that rank because of their dedicated love.

How did you keep your area of excellence (e.g., teaching, mentoring, scholarship, service) a high priority in your career, in spite of competing demands?

As a faculty member, I always focused on actions that actively contributed to my profession--always a being in the process of becoming.

In looking at colleagues who are just about to get started on something new in your chosen area (e.g., develop a new course, begin in a new arena of service, start a new research or scholarly project), what advice would you give them?
As the saying goes, Truth is the daughter of time.  As academicians, one never changes ones academic understanding of the environment for changes sake.  One simply learns to answer key questions with greater relevance than before with the hope of creating a better world.

 
 

Amitra Wall:  Chancellor’s Award Recipient, Excellence in Teaching

What was your motivation in agreeing to have your name put forward? 

I was honored and humbled to be recognized by the colleague who suggested my name be put forward. 

What was the most positive aspect of receiving your Chancellor’s Award?

Acknowledgement by my peers for the hard work spent planning for my courses. Most importantly, reading all of the support letters written by students, staff, and faculty.  I did not truly understand the depth or impact that I had on students.  I now grasp the idea of being an effective mentor and role model. 

Help others to understand the sense of pride you experienced when you learned that you had received the award. 

This is hard for me to answer as I give all the glory, honor, and praise to my Lord God Almighty.  I am grateful to have gone through this process because I learned much about myself and the politics of an organization.   Sense of pride= the feeling of accomplishing something great.  Hard work, dedication, and striving to be the best pay off.

What was the most significant adjustment that you had to make, or insight you gained, during your career, related to excellence in teaching? 

I learned quickly that:

  • Students are not just vessels to be filled. 
  • I am not the bearer of all information. 
  • Course work should not just happen in a classroom.
  • Students learn best when they are open to experiences outside of the classroom.  They seem to want to learn when given the opportunity to apply content to personal life and the community. 

The biggest adjustment was accepting the fact that I had to invest time in honing the craft of teaching.  Learning communities, study tours, service learning, student directed/focused research are effective tools.  These tools take up a lot of time—taking time away from other obligations.  Connecting students to community obligations and research interests allowed me to find that balance.  I love teaching, so doing extra work or spending time outside the classroom with the students is not a problem. 

In looking at colleagues who are just about to get started on something new in teaching, what advice would you give them? 

  • Document everything.  Baseline data are important, as changes in perceptions about the course can be helpful in reconfiguring the new chosen area. 
  • It is important to keep all contacts when presenting, as conference participants and those with whom you present on panels can be future references for you.
  • Collaborate, collaborate, and collaborate.  It does not make sense to recreate something if someone else is doing what you propose to do:  be sure to communicate to others your desires.  Invite your colleagues to join your research endeavors.
  • Participate in campus and other local activities (i.e., the Faculty and Staff Research and Creativity Day) and in local conferences.  
  • Always, have a two to three minute elevator speech.   I have learned that it is necessary to share activities.  When activities are not shared, then there is the perception that one is not doing anything. 

  

Jill Singer, Chancellor’s Award Recipient, Excellence in Scholarship & Creative Activities

What was your motivation in agreeing to have your name put forward?

It is one of the best ways our campus recognizes and values professional accomplishments. At this stage of my career, I have come to better appreciate the importance of taking time to recognize professional accomplishments and their impact on students and others.

What was the most positive aspect of receiving your Chancellor’s Award?

One of them most positive aspects of receiving the award is the sense of satisfaction that stems from sustaining a level of research activities over a long period of time. The package that goes forward (and is reviewed by the campus committee) contains endorsement letters from colleagues across campus, and from institutions across the country. 

As academics, we usually (and quite happily) carry out our academic activities and it is our intrinsic motivation that keeps us passionate about our work. However, there is value in (occasional) public acknowledgment of contributions in our discipline and leadership within our community.

Help others to understand the sense of pride you experienced when you learned that you had received the award.

This is a bit harder to answer. I don’t as much think of this so much as a ‘sense of pride’ as a ‘sense of satisfaction’ that my contributions were worthy of recognition by my peers.

How did you keep your area of excellence (e.g., teaching, mentoring, scholarship, service) a high priority in your career, in spite of competing demands?

While I never ‘mapped’ things out to an extent that prevented me from taking advantage of opportunities, I tried to be strategic about the choices I made regarding the projects I took on and the people I collaborated with.

  • I avoided taking on projects that did not have some defined outcome
  • I accepted opportunities to work with productive colleagues, even though it required me to expand into areas outside my comfort area.
  • I have always tried to connect my research with my teaching and mentoring activities so I didn’t feel pulled in too many different directions.

Research remains a high priority for me, because it is what keeps me passionate about geology and undergraduate research. And if you’ve ever spent time on the Buffalo River you’d understand why I love going into the field year-round, (okay, summer is much better when we work aboard the R/V Seiche, a boat designed and built to support river research).

Describe the most powerful intrinsic satisfaction you have had from this area of excellence in your career.

I focus my research/creative activities in two areas: undergraduate research and understanding sediment transport processes in the Buffalo River. While much of my efforts involving undergraduate research stem from designing and implementing a range of programs to serve Buffalo State students and their faculty mentors, I also have made it a priority to integrate a scholarly component into my position as director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. This has involved working with evaluators, mentors and students to develop and implement an evaluation program aimed at assessing the impact of undergraduate research experiences, including identifying student learning gains.

My research interests in the Buffalo River are relevant to river restoration decision-making and advancing our understanding of hydrodynamics of river systems. Both my research activities involving undergraduate research and the Buffalo River have a strong applied component and I think that is where I derive the greatest intrinsic satisfaction. I can see where my work contributes to the body of knowledge and is relevant to others, but perhaps more importantly I enjoy being intellectually challenged.

Staying active in research provides me a source of examples to share with my students and colleagues.

My advice is:

  • Pursue something that you are passionate about.
  • Pursue projects that keep you engaged in your discipline throughout the stages of your career.

If anyone told me 25 years ago, when I started teaching at Buffalo State, that I would become progressively more excited about my research as time went on, I would have tried to convince them otherwise. But now I know it to be true…and I tackle research questions these days for me, not simply because I am seeking funding or publications.


  

Gary Solar, recipient, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

What was your motivation in agreeing to have your name put forward?

Honestly, I’ve aspired to this distinction since before I was even hired here. My #1 motivation to earn the Ph.D. was so that I could become a college-level faculty member focused on undergraduate education in geology. While I was a graduate student, I began to develop my teaching skills, and took a lot of pride in educating others in the best way possible. This development remains ongoing, and I continually aspire to be a better teacher, the best I can be, that facilitates a positive learning experience, and one with substance (e.g., a challenge), for all of my students at any level, in the classroom, in the lab and in the field, and all of the time, not just while they are students.

So, to make a long story short, I agreed because I’d hoped that I have the record worthy of this distinction of teaching excellence. 

What was the most positive aspect of receiving your Chancellor’s Award?

I see it as a great honor, and one that may reflect a validation of my efforts toward excellence in teaching. But really, the absolute best part has been telling my students about it. I tell them it is much more about them than it is about me. I couldn’t be an effective teacher without them.

Help others to understand the sense of pride you experienced when you learned that you had received the award.

It is a bit of pride, but, really, it is more like feeling like a "success" in this teaching business.

How did you keep your area of excellence (e.g., teaching, mentoring, scholarship, service) a high priority in your career, in spite of competing demands?

Simply, I place teaching excellence at the very top of my priority list. Everything else is part of teaching excellence (all the things in the list of this question). So, I contend that you have to strike a balance without compromising teaching in all forms.

Describe the most powerful intrinsic satisfaction you have had from this area of excellence in your career.

I have developed a real satisfaction seeing my students succeed in both transferring their new knowledge and understanding into action, and as professionals upon graduation.


    Barbara Bontempo, Chancellor’s Awards Recipient, Excellence in Teaching

What was your motivation in agreeing to have your name put forward?

I believe it was both for personal satisfaction and contributing to keeping these awards vital and meaningful.

What was the most positive aspect of receiving your Chancellor’s Award?

Having my family at the awards ceremony as a tribute to our parents’ love and support throughout our entire upbringing.  They always believed in us and encouraged us to pursue our dreams and take risks.

Help others to understand the sense of pride you experienced when you learned that you had received the award.

 Although service and scholarship play an important role in my professional life, I am a teacher first.   When I go into a Western NY school to supervise a new student teacher, and the mentoring teacher is one of my former students, I feel a sense of completion, my sphere of influence widened.  This is the same feeling I experienced when I received the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching.  I have, perhaps, made a difference, and that has been acknowledged by my peers.

How did you keep your area of excellence (e.g., teaching, mentoring, scholarship, service) a high priority in your career, in spite of competing demands?

Teaching and mentoring have always taken first place, although it has not always been easy, considering the pressures for committee work and, especially for publishing.  By combining my teaching with both service and research interest as much as possible, I believe I have strengthened all three areas throughout my career. 

For example, Service Learning has provided a venue to bring real life experience to my classroom students (for the Ethnic American Literature course, they spend 20 hours in community-based activities such as Journey’s End Refugee Center).  Working with refugees and recent immigrants intensified (and made real) the ethnic literature we were studying together.  I also was able to write a chapter for a book on Service Learning (2010).  This approach has worked well to keep teaching/learning the central focus.

What was the most significant adjustment that you had to make, or insight you gained, during your career, related to your chosen area of excellence? 

In the early years, I think I was too wedded to the curriculum, the plan, the script.  Perhaps that is necessary early on.  But, I think I finally learned that (although I need to spend considerable time conceptualizing the "script") that when I enter the classroom, I need to put the script aside and focus on the students.  It is always about the students!

In looking at colleagues who are just about to get started on something new in your chosen area (e.g., develop a new course, begin in a new arena of service, start a new research or scholarly project), what advice would you give them?

Do your homework/research and see what’s there already.  Plan, organize, and then, take a risk!  Be bold.  Be authentic. Be the teacher you want to be.

Describe the most powerful intrinsic satisfaction you have had from this area of excellence in your career. 

The most powerful moments come when my students forget I’m there, and start seriously exchanging ideas with one another.  When they laugh and smile during class because of the books, materials, ideas, and sense of being part of a community of learners that, too, brings great satisfaction.