Excellence in Teaching Award Winners 2018-2019



April Burke, Ph.D. - English Language & Literature

Dr. Burke is an assistant professor of Educational Linguistics, Department of English Language and Literature. She is praised by both students and faculty for engaging students with a variety teaching methods, designed to inspire and empower them. One student said Dr. Burke “engaged us and enhanced our learning process by blending excitement and participation in the educational experience.”





Brian DeJong, Ph.D. - School of Engineering & Technology

Dr. Brian DeJong is a professor of Engineering. The student who nominated Dr. DeJong described his friendly disposition, “He is very understanding and kind. He always has a smile on his face and is willing to help anyone and everyone excel.” Another student emphasized Dr. DeJong’s commitment to making sure his students were prepared for the workforce. 



Natalie Douglas, Ph.D. - Communication Sciences and Disorders

Natalie Douglas is an associate professor and Director of the Division of Speech-Language Pathology in the College of Health Professions. Dr. Douglas’ teaching is heavily influenced by ‘transformative learning’ which focuses on helping students make meaning through task-oriented problem solving, cause and effect relationships and reflection. Students feel this instructor to be more than an educator…”She is a mentor, giver, motivator and leader”. 




Carolina Gutiérrez-Rivas, Ph.D. - World Languages & Cultures 

Carolina Gutiérrez-Rivas is an associate professor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures.  Dr. Gutiérrez-Rivas finds novel ways to stimulate her students’ imagination and curiosity, promotes critical thinking, and applies classroom content to real-life situations.  Dr. Gutiérrez-Rivas says that she finds her greatest joy in watching students develop skill and competency in the new subjects and theories they are learning, and her goal is to awaken minds by encouraging discussion, questions, performance, imagination – and, most importantly, good reading and writing skills.  


Amy Beth McGinnis, Ed.D. - Management

Amy B. McGinnis is a valued member of the Management Department, specializing in the areas of Human Resources and Organizational Behavior. As a practitioner and educator, she strives to collaborate with students equally in an environment of trust, respect, mutual exchange, engagement, and critical thinking. Students are the center of her teaching and she instills into them a deep appreciation for learning.