Librarian at Large
Outstanding Teacher and Service
A Partner in Learning: Eddie Vela named Outstanding
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
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
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
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,”
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.