Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2017

Faculty Award winner

Melissa Frye

 College of Business Administration

 Finance

Today’s workplace offers new challenges to students – the options are wider, the demands are greater, and the workplace is less structured. To be successful, students will need to meet the challenges of this type of working environment. A teacher is the guide who helps them prepare to meet these challenges by arming them with the knowledge and know-how to be successful.

Sharing knowledge is at the heart of any class. When presenting material, I strive to clearly articulate the concepts and then offer examples so students see how the concepts can be applied. I then encourage the students to ask questions and share their own opinions. Key to the success of this approach is providing an interactive and supportive environment, where students are challenged but assisted to meet those challenges.

While students must understand the content of the course, it is equally important that students acquire the skills of learning, including problem solving, scientific inquiry, self-discipline, and self-motivation. Memorizing facts and formulas is only a part of what it takes to master a subject area – the ability to apply this knowledge is where true value is derived. My approach in the classroom emphasizes the application of material to relevant examples that the students may carry forward in their professional life.

Keeping students engaged is critical to the success of a class. First and foremost, teaching and learning should be fun. I enjoy looking for new and better ways to present and discuss material, searching for examples to which students can relate. Teaching and learning should also be relevant. I strive to incorporate real-world examples and experiences in my classroom. Creating such an environment keeps the students interested and encourages them to work harder.

Helping students learn new and challenging material is extremely rewarding for me. Not all of my students will pursue careers in finance, but the principles they learn can be applied to everyday life and I consciously try to emphasize this. It is my hope that the courses I teach will contribute, at least in a small way, to their ultimate success.