Salter Named Educator of the Year

Dr. Irene Salter was presented the Educator of the Year Award by the Chico Rotary on Tuesday, April 24th, 2012.

Salter earned this award for creating in her students a sense of empowerment and excitement about teaching science in their own classrooms. She emphasizes that science is a collaborative effort. Her students make comments such as, she allowed "all of us to be able to participate and explore science concepts...by collaborating" and "learning by doing has been a good learning experience."

Salter was recognized as an innovative educator for sharing in the development of a course, NSCI 321 Scientific Inquiry. Instead of attempting to deposit a collection of scientific facts into the brains of students, this course teaches students to build scientific knowledge in the same way scientists do. It is an impressive sight to see her classroom of students, previously filled with anxiety about science, engaging in genuine scientific debate not unlike that of veteran scientists.

Salter is a committed and caring teacher. Students often speak about her focus on their learning with comments like, "she is a very good teacher that wants us to understand everything." she was "easy to approach" and "very open to any questions." Her colleagues have also noted her student-centered approach. One of them wrote, "Dr. Salter did not simply sit at the front of the classroom, but spent the entire time engaging the students at their tables."