Thursday, March 20, 2014

A celebration of teaching

2014 MC Teaching Excellence Award winners, pictured from left to right: Stan Middleton, clinical director of Respiratory Care, and David Edens, assistant professor of Psychology and Sociology
By Rebecca Bell
Dean of Community Relations & Special Events

“We are here today not only to honor outstanding teachers, but also to remind ourselves of who we are—an institution of teaching and learning.”

Those were the opening remarks from Midland College (MC) Executive Vice President Dr. Richard Jolly as employees gathered to celebrate teaching at the annual Teaching Excellence Awards on Wednesday afternoon, March 19.

The Teaching Excellence Awards are the most prestigious awards MC gives its faculty. Winners receive a cash honorarium and their name on a permanent plaque housed in the Pevehouse Administration Building. Winners for 2014 are David Edens, assistant professor of Psychology and Sociology, and Stan Middleton, clinical director of MC’s Respiratory Care program.

MC Dean of Social/Behavioral Sciences & Business Dr. Mary Braselton said, “David Edens is accessible all the time to all students. He is a student advocate, an advisor, a problem solver and a team player.”

Professor Edens said that he views his role as teacher much as that of a fisher: “If I can just set that hook of discovery in the student, just maybe I can reel them in to a lifetime of learning.”

Stan Middleton claims to be a “hands off” teacher: “However, I’m trying to teach students with no experience in Respiratory Care. So naturally, I must have a ‘hands on’ approach with the understanding that by the time students get finished with my portion of the program, I am a ‘hands off’ teacher.”

Middleton is responsible not only for making sure that each MC Respiratory Care student has the best clinical experience possible, but also for introducing new students to the profession of respiratory care.

Dr. Jolly said, “Stan does both of these things by providing a depth and breadth of clinical experiences that integrate with classroom instruction. His class presentations are delivered to engage and challenge students. Randomly during class, Stan will have a slideshow set to music or a video that will enhance students’ learning or just provide a needed break.”

Both Edens and Middleton are seasoned instructors. Edens holds a Master of Arts degree from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin and Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees from Abilene Christian University. He has been employed at MC since 2004. Middleton holds a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin and an Associate of Applied Science degree from Midland College. He has been employed at MC since 1995.

MC President Dr. Steve Thomas noted, “I began my community college career as an MC teacher, and I know the challenges that teachers face. However, I also know that instructors make a difference in students’ lives. MC teachers are one of our greatest assets, and the stellar reputation that MC has achieved over the years is due in large part to our excellent faculty.”

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