Center for Faculty Excellence recognizes excellence in teaching practices

October 13, 2023

Purdue University Northwest’s (PNW) Center for Faculty Excellence recently hosted its annual Celebrating Excellence: Taking PRIDE in Our Teaching event.

“The Center for Faculty Excellence is thrilled to host this annual event to help celebrate the amazing work being done by faculty and staff to support the success of PNW students, particularly related to teaching,” said Emily Hixon, director of PNW’s Center for Faculty Excellence. The online program for the event lists the full agenda including the presenters and honorees.

Setting the stage for a day of learning and collaboration, the event kicked off with a breakfast gathering exclusively for esteemed PNW Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) teaching fellows. These faculty and instructional staff have demonstrated their commitment to teaching excellence by completing a year-long course on evidence-based teaching practices.

Honoring the value of student input in the quest for teaching excellence, a diverse and passionate group of PNW students from various academic disciplines and backgrounds served on a student panel. The students shared their insights on the teaching and learning process and how faculty can best meet the needs of PNW students.  The vibrant dialogue enriched collective understanding of teaching excellence at PNW.

Six students sit at long black tables on a stage.

Several PNW students participated in a “Teaching Excellence: The Student Voice” panel during the excellence luncheon event.

In a series of dynamic lightning presentations, nine PNW faculty members shared their expertise on teaching topics in fast-paced, 5-minute presentations. Presentation topics included using a syllabus quiz as a predictor of students’ success, making the most of the first day of class, creating a supportive learning environment and using AI to support student note-taking.

During the recognition luncheon, faculty were honored for institution and Purdue system-wide awards related to teaching, as well as those who have demonstrated their commitment to continuous improvement by seeking out opportunities to develop and refine their teaching skills. In total, 68 certificates were presented to faculty members for their outstanding contributions to teaching excellence, which ensure students receive a high-quality learning experience that allows PNW to be the premier metropolitan university of Northwest Indiana.

Neeti Parashar stands behind a wooden podium with the "PNW" logo on it. She is wearing a blue blazer and white shirt and talking into a microphone.

Neeti Parashar, professor of Physics, delivers a lightning presentation titled “How ‘NOT TO’ Intimidate Your Students as a Physicist.”

The closing event of the day provided an opportunity for faculty to dive deeper into a hot topic in Higher Education — the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on education. Faculty and staff members contemplated the implications of AI in teaching and research, sparking exciting discussions about how the future of higher education might evolve as a result.

Emily Hixon stated, “The Celebrating Excellence: Taking PRIDE in Our Teaching is not just an event — it’s a testament to the commitment PNW has towards enhancing the educational experience for all PNW students,” said Hixon. “I am humbled to work with so many outstanding educators who are fully committed to giving PNW students the best possible learning experience.”

Professors and members of PNW's leadership sit at large, round tables.

PNW’s Center for Faculty Excellence hosted its annual “Celebrating Excellence: Taking PRIDE in Our Teaching” event, recognizing innovation in pedagogical methods and supporting student success.