Distinguished Educator Award

The College of Pharmacy (COP) is committed to excellence in education. Teaching and learning are central to the Mission of the College and learning experiences for our students are highly valued. One way to communicate this commitment to others is through the presentation of the Distinguished Educator Award.

The award will consist of a plaque presented to the recipient at the hooding ceremony, permanent membership in the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, a one-year membership in the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), and an all-expenses paid trip to the AACP Annual Meeting.

Eligibility – All full-time COP faculty at the rank of Associate Professor/Clinical Associate Professor or above who have demonstrated significant and sustained contributions to teaching and learning, including the scholarship of teaching and learning, are eligible.

Nominations – Nominations for the Distinguished Educator Award will be requested on an annual basis. Students, student organizations and faculty members will be invited to submit written nominations for the Distinguished Educator Award by October 1 of each year. The nominating statement should be a thoughtful reflection of why the nominee is worthy of the award. The nominee is notified and provided the opportunity to accept or reject the nomination. Having won the award before does not preclude future nominations.  The award, however, may not be given to the same person again for 4 years.

Guidelines for Preparing Documentation – The Nominee will submit a teaching portfolio by January 15. The portfolio must document sustained contributions to learning and teaching with emphasis over the past four years at Mercer. The portfolio must include:

  • A statement of the Nominee's teaching philosophy. A well-defined philosophy of teaching statement should reflect who the Nominee is as a teacher and give some insight on the faculty member’s values and beliefs about teaching and learning. It should describe the Nominee’s goals for teaching and help clarify why one teaches and how one teaches. It provides a public statement for ones actions as a teacher. The statement should guide everything that occurs in classroom and experiential teaching. The entire basis for the portfolio should be described by the teaching philosophy statement.
  • A summary of the Nominee's major contributions to teaching. This section must include innovative educational activities such as special projects, model course or program development, novel or innovative teaching methods, or development of new assessment models. This section must make the case for the Nominee’s unique teaching qualities.
  • A description of teaching and learning activities inside and outside the College classroom or practice site. This must include items such as publications or other evidence of peer reviewed scholarship related to teaching and learning such as scholarly presentations. Other items may include previous honors or recognition for excellence in teaching; evidence of professional development related to teaching and learning; mentoring of faculty; and teaching activities outside the College.
  • Student and peer evaluations of the Nominee's contribution to teaching and learning. The evaluations must be both qualitative and quantitative in nature. The Nominee also may include statements obtained from alumni.
  • A reflection and self-evaluation by the Nominee on their major contributions to teaching and learning.

Selection Method – A committee of students, faculty and alumni will review the documentation submitted. This committee will consist of the presidents of each class, the members of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, and a recent alumnus. Recommendations for selection of a recipient will be based on the criteria listed below. The Committee will forward a recommendation, based on majority vote, to the Dean by March 15 of each academic year. At the discretion of the Committee, no nominee may be recommended to the Dean if a suitable candidate is not identified.

Criteria for Selection – The following criteria will guide the selection of an Awardee.

  • The major contributions of the Nominee are well defined.
  • The teaching competence of the Nominee is clearly outstanding.
  • The Nominee has a well-defined teaching philosophy and approach to education.
  • There is evidence of contribution to the enhancement of student learning.
  • There is evidence of sustained contributions to teaching and learning.
  • The Nominee has engaged in the scholarship of teaching and learning and there is evidence of dissemination and sharing of contributions to others.