The winners of this year’s Outstanding Faculty Award said they were honored to be singled out from peers they believe to be great teachers.
Dr. Cynthia Woodburn, mathematics, and automotive technology professors Ron Downing and Bob Schroer were honored at Apple Day ceremonies in the spring for their passion in the classroom and their reputation as great teachers who care about their students. Each is a first-time winner of the award.
For Woodburn, who received the honor after multiple nominations, the win was a way to honor her father, a former accounting professor who won the award during his tenure at PSU.
“I’m humbled, because there are so many other good teachers at PSU,” said Woodburn, whose students cited her teaching skills, personality, and skill at her craft. “It’s a good feeling to be recognized.”
For Bob Schroer, the award is affirmation that his 30+ years in industry are valuable to students who will soon seek careers in the diesel and heavy equipment field.
“When you work on projects with your class, you always hope the students will enjoy it and learn from it,” he said. “To get this award affirms the fact that we’re doing things students appreciate and are learning from. It makes my work all that much better.”
On the heels of his recognition for leading his latest advisee to a win at WorldSkills USA, Ron Downing says the real reward is simply being able to work with students each day.
“I like to see young people succeed,” he said. “If I can pass on the knowledge to help them do that, then this has all been worthwhile. That’s why I teach.”