The Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) and Steve Potter, associate professor in the Coulter Department, are recipients of the 2013 Regents’ Teaching Excellence Awards. This marks the first time that both awards have gone to the same department.
“The Coulter Department is an excellent example of an academic unit designing its curriculum and instructional approach to truly focus on student learning and achievement,” said Rafael L. Bras, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. “It’s no surprise that the department and one of its own, Steve Potter, would be selected to receive these awards.”
The University System of Georgia (USG) Teaching Excellence Awards recognize both individual faculty and staff, and departments and programs for a strong commitment to teaching and student success.
The Coulter Department was recognized for its design and implementation of a problem-focused curriculum.
“Problem-driven learning aims to develop empowered, self-directed inquirers who fearlessly seek and tackle local and global problems,” said Wendy Newstetter, who helped develop the award-winning BME curriculum and is now director of educational research and innovation for the College of Engineering.
A team of BME faculty, including Newstetter, BME Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies Joe Le Doux and Director of Learning Sciences Innovation and Research Barbara Fasse, are scheduled to share their curriculum design approach in March 2013 during a workshop for faculty from across the state.
Potter, director of the Laboratory for NeuroEngineering, was recognized for his self-defined “real world” approach to teaching neuroscience courses. For example, students interview experts in the field and use what they learn from experts and readings to create new neuroscience articles for Wikipedia.
“Nothing is more rewarding for me than to get an email from one of my former students telling me about where they are now and how much they still appreciate and use what they learned in a class of mine,” Potter said. “To get recognition from the USG for leaving a lasting influence on my students is icing on the cake.”