ACUE-certified faculty help positively impact student performance

December 20, 2022
Join your colleagues for a day of sharing ideas, building community, and celebrating excellent teaching at PNW!

Purdue University Northwest’s (PNW) Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE) hosted a “Celebrating Excellence: Taking PRIDE in Our Teaching” event to recognize faculty members’ commitment to excellent teaching and honor current and past cohort members for their completion of the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) course in Effective Teaching Practices.

ACUE cohort members participated in roundtable and panel discussions on teaching-related topics. A few faculty members also gave five-minute long “lightning round” presentations about their most important lessons and implementations from the ACUE course.

The CFE for five years has helped lead faculty members in the ACUE course, which challenges PNW faculty members to reimagine their pedagogical approach in line with being a student-ready university. As contemporary students bring new skills, perspectives, and learning methods to higher education, a growth mindset-oriented approach helps faculty meet students where they are, according to Emily Hixon, director of the CFE and professor of Education.

Participating cohort members are responsible for completing modules that rethink effective course delivery and promote active learning techniques to foster student success. The members are also responsible for implementing evidence-based teaching practices in their own courses to study their effectiveness with students.

A recent meta-analysis shows ACUE-certified faculty deliver a positive impact on their students’ academic performance. The study, conducted by Elizabeth Tipton, a professor at Northwestern University, observed ACUE-certified faculty members’ average effect on delivery and performance in the classroom. The study shows these faculty help increase course completion and retention, as well as students’ average grades. The study shows a noticeable decrease in D and F grades and course withdrawals.

“It’s on us — a collective responsibility for helping all of our students to be successful,” said Hixon. “The world is changing rapidly, and so are our students. And the PNW student population is becoming increasingly diverse.  What might have worked in the past — the teaching approaches that might have worked for our faculty when they were students — may not work as well for their students today.  Our students are changing, and so must how we teach them.  The ACUE course helps ensure that faculty have the tools they need to help all of their students be successful.”

For more information about ACUE and the CFE, visit

PNW faculty and staff members honored in the most recent ACUE cohort include:

  • Heather Augustyn
    Continuing lecturer of English
  • Manisa Baker
    Assistant professor of Nursing
  • William Batsch
    Academic and student success advisor
  • Matthew Bauman
    Assistant professor in the White Lodging School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Kimberly Brunt
    Clinical assistant professor of Psychology
  • Meghan Cook
    Assistant director of the Center for Faculty Excellence
  • Cezara Crisan
    Assistant professor of Behavioral Sciences
  • Jesus De La Cruz
    Lecturer of Engineering Technology
  • Hubert Izienicki
    Assistant professor of Behavioral Sciences
  • Alicia January
    Assistant professor of Psychology
  • Bethany Lee
    Assistant professor of English
  • Meghan McGonigal-Kenney
    Clinical instructor of Nursing
  • Michael Mick
    Associate professor of Quantitative Business Studies
  • Laurie Parpart
    Clinical assistant professor of Nursing
  • Katherine Pryor
    Academic and student success advisor
  • Barbara Pudelek
    Assistant professor of Nursing
  • Julia Sbriagia
    Clinical instructor of Nursing
  • Sarah White
    Clinical assistant professor of English
  • Wubeshet Woldemariam
    Assistant professor of Civil Engineering
  • Cynthia Zdanczyk
    Continuing lecturer of Psychology
  • Cheng Zhang
    Assistant professor of Construction Engineering and Management Technology