INSIDE Chico State
0 Febraury 13, 2003
Volume 33 Number 10
  A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
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Inside

STORIES

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Achievements

Librarian at Large

Briefly Noted

Upfront

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Outstanding Teacher and Service Awards

A Partner in Learning: Eddie Vela named Outstanding Teacher

Eddie Vela, Psychology
Eddie Vela, Psychology

Psychology professor Eddie Vela has been named the Outstanding Teacher for 2002–2003. His students describe him as an “incredible” teacher who sets high academic standards in the classroom and provides them with ready and personalized support outside the classroom.

Vela earned a Ph.D. in psychology from Texas A&M University and began teaching at CSU, Chico in 1989. He is the recipient of a number of awards, including Outstanding Professor of the Year from the Associated Students in 1992 and several instructional improvement and research grants. He was a Master Teacher for 1999–2000.

Vela’s expertise is in cognitive psychology and perception. His publications include co-authorship with Ted Singelis, Department of Psychology, of Study Guide for Culture’s Influence on Behavior (2000) and journal articles such as “Emotion in the Classroom” in Teaching Excellence (2001).

Vela described himself as a “learning partner” with students. He said that, as a teacher, he brings his knowledge of how human beings learn to how he structures his courses. He draws upon the whole of his life, when appropriate, and believes that doing so can enliven the classroom.

Vela uses multiple teaching strategies to reach students who learn in different ways: he conveys the value that learning is good; he pays close attention to student behavior so that he knows whether he is reaching them and if they are involved; and he maintains enthusiasm for the material.

“Dr. Vela creates an extraordinarily effective classroom environment. His breadth and depth of knowledge, coupled with his passion for learning and teaching, provide the perfect catalyst for sparking student motivation,” said Peter A. Lopez, Psychology.

Students recognize Vela for the time and energy he gives to them and for the personal interest he takes in their learning. “I was merely another one of his innumerable students when I came to him for help, yet the degree of caring he showed me literally changed my life,” said a student in one of Vela’s core psychology classes.

“I am honored, and I also know that there are many outstanding teachers on this campus. CSU, Chico is an outstanding place to work, and I am grateful for the opportunities I have been offered here. I salute all the marvelous teachers we have on this campus,” said Vela.

Paying Back and Paying Forward: Service award goes to Madeline Keaveney

Madeline Keaveney, Communication Arts and Sciences
Madeline Keaveney, Communication Arts and Sciences

Communication Arts and Sciences professor Madeline Keaveney has been chosen for the Outstanding Faculty Service Award.

Professor Keaveney received her Ph.D. in 1972 from the University of Illinois and began her teaching career at CSU, Chico in 1974. She has served on numerous department committees; she has enabled many students to share in her research opportunities; she has mentored faculty as a Master Teacher in 1997–1998; and she has provided many opportunities for honors students.

Keaveney has served on the College of Communication and Education Affirmative Action Committee, Personnel Committee, and Dean Review Committee. She has supported the university in acting as the academic adviser to the wrestling team, the baseball team, and the cheerleading squad; she has coordinated the General Education Gender Theme; and she chaired the University Affirmative Action Committee, served on the University Writing Committee, the University Personnel Committee, and was involved for 10 years in the Summer Bridge program.

Keaveney is involved in professional organizations. She edited the Western States Communication Association newsletter for five years and is a member of the National Communication Association and the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender.

“I am really excited about being recognized for my service. Because so much emphasis, rightfully so, is put on good teaching as well as research and publications, I think there may be a tendency to devalue service. This award puts service on a par with the other parts of our job,” said Keaveney.

Keaveney said that she serves for a variety of reasons, including the chance to use her experience to provide the kind of career support she would have appreciated receiving, deeply held convictions, and parental example. Her parents volunteered in both their jobs and the community, and she saw the positive impact of their efforts.

“Service is important to do and to do well, even though there may be minimal thanks or recognition. Service is an opportunity to pay back and to pay forward, to make a difference,” said Keaveney.

Kathleen McPartland

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