Faculty Teaching Awards 2022
Each spring, the School of Medicine asks students to nominate outstanding teachers. In 2022, four faculty in the Division of Management were nominated for their knowledge, passion, and student-centeredness. Here we highlight these faculty using the students’ own words.
Steve Kinder, M.P.A., head of the Division of Management, assistant professor, “has shown his students how much he cares about personal, academic, and career growth.” Even before the pandemic, Steve sought ways to meaningfully connect with students in the online learning platform. From daily participation in the forum to short videos that use stories from his executive and clinical experiences to illustrate concepts, “he uses technology as a platform, not to distance himself from students, but to bring himself closer to their learning processes.” And if a student has missed an assignment or has been quiet in the forum, he reaches out to “make sure that they are receiving the assistance that they truly need.”
Mary Tanski, M.D., M.B.A., department chair of Emergency Medicine, associate professor, Mary brings myriad strengths to the classroom. She “is someone who truly cares about the work she does both clinically and administratively.” As a graduate of the M.B.A. program, she knows what it is like to balance work, school, and family. “She is an inspiration to those of us pursuing this field, and I will always look to her for guidance and support.” In the classroom, the concepts of operations management and quality can be overwhelming. “She clearly has a passion for quality in healthcare that she shares with her students,” which sparks curiosity in her students about how we all can improve the system of healthcare.
Hans VanDerSchaaf, Ph.D., M.P.A., adjunct instructor, digital health strategist, helps his students see “Human Centered Design seen as a valuable tool.” Hans encourages students to bring questions and ideas from their work, applying ideas from the class to making improvements. It is not uncommon for students to take the class project to their leaders. One student notes, “It’s been inspiring enough that I actually took the course assignment and presented it to my group who agreed to find resources to work on it.” Students are making improvements as they learn, not waiting until graduation.
Jessica Walter, Ed.D., M.A., division director, assistant professor, also connects the classroom to the students’ work and career. Education should change the way that we perceive our world and interact with it. “She gently pushes us to think about a framework or situation a different way.” Within the classroom her “guidance and expertise have forever changed the way I write and given me more confidence as a student and in my career.” Learning extends beyond the bounds of courses, extending to office hours where, “Those brief connections regarding assignment questions/clarifications turned into more meaningful conversations about education in general and the value of work.” Jessica was one of three Graduate Studies faculty to be awarded the “Excellence in Teaching Award.”