To receive an Excellent rating, a faculty member should demonstrate strongly positive student response to teaching, e.g. student-sponsored teaching awards, consistently above average student evaluations, or unusually positive alumni comments.
Evidence for strongly positive student response to teaching is provided by course evaluation data (particularly over the past academic year), student comments, one nomination for a teaching award that was supported and initiated by my students, and an article in the JMU yearbook about my GSCI classes. Details from the evaluations, comments, and nomination are provided below.
Course Evaluations – During semesters in which I have not introduced major new changes to course content or organization (which is all but two semesters since joining JMU in 2009), my student course evaluations have been consistently at or above departmental averages. In Fall 2013, I scored higher than the departmental means on 20 out of the 25 questions, in addition to the overall score. In Spring 2014, I scored higher than the departmental means on 24 out of the 25 questions, in addition to the overall score. This provides evidence that my dedication to continuous improvement is starting to reap dividends in my students’ perception of the overall value provided by my courses.
Student Comments – Many student comments on course evaluations have been unusually positive:
“I <3 Radz.” — GISAT 251, Fall 2013
“She is basically just the nicest, coolest person I know. She is a great teacher and makes statistics make sense and coming to class fun.” — GISAT 251, Fall 2013
“Dr. Radziwill is a really brilliant and laid-back professor who loves what she teaches. I didn’t dislike anything about her or the lab.” — GISAT 251, Fall 2013
“She was very helpful and fair with everything. It was a great environment.” — ISAT 341, Spring 2013
“Radziwill rocks!” — ISAT/CS 344, Fall 2011
“Awesome instructor and loved all the labs.” — ISAT/CS 344, Fall 2011
“Great instructor who assisted during all hours of the day.” — ISAT/CS 344, Fall 2011
Nominated for Teaching Award – In Fall 2011, after only two years at JMU, I was nominated for (but did not receive) an ATMAE teaching award. Several of my students wrote letters of support, from which the following excerpts were drawn:
“Dr. Radziwill is the epitome of an exceptional teacher. She gets to know each of her students on a personal level and maintains the relationships for years beyond the end of the class. Within the classroom, Dr. Radziwill is fully dedicated to providing her students with ample opportunities to succeed. Being an elementary education major, I strive to implement the practices of teachers I admire the most, and Dr. Radziwill’s instruction models the exact practices I find essential in an excellent educator.” — Putnick Letter
“Being in Dr. Nicole Radziwill’s classroom was a truly unforgettable experience. As a future teacher, she taught me not only how to teach science well, but also how to be a spectacular educator. She exemplifies all of the exceptional qualities that JMU demands of their professors.” — Lojek Letter
“From my personal experience, I acquired more than intelligence from the three different courses with Dr. Radziwill, but also the wisdom and knowledge she imparts from career-related experiences. I am especially grateful because her teachings transpire into my daily life and her guidance led me to a field where I now have a passion and love for.” — Duong Letter