HAYS, KS -- Duane Shepherd, assistant professor of health and human performance at Fort Hays State University, has been named by a faculty recognition committee as the recipient of the university's Outstanding Teaching Innovation Award for December for his performance in the College of Health and Life Sciences.
The faculty recognition program rewards outstanding teacher innovators and outstanding mediated classroom teachers from each of the four colleges of the university. Two other special awards -- Teacher/Scholar/Innovator of the Year and Faculty Advisor of the Year -- are also part of the program.
Recipients are selected by a committee chaired or appointed by the respective college deans.
One award is given each month over the period August through May. The award includes a check for $300 and a university lapel pin that signifies teaching excellence. Two-thirds of the financial award is provided by the university and the other third comes from Commerce Bank of Hays, which established a fund with the university to help recognize outstanding faculty teaching.
Shepherd works with students who have special needs in the physical activity environment. Shepherd's innovative classroom methods give him the ability to provide students with hands-on learning experience.
Speaking on behalf of the selection committee, Dr. Helen Miles, assistant professor of health and human performance, said, "I believe one of the hallmarks of an outstanding and innovative educator can be measured by the degree of student interest, achievement and accomplishment in meeting and/or exceeding course objectives. Mr. Shepherd maintains high standards in ensuring that students meet course objectives by applying a variety of teaching techniques that involve the students directly in the learning experience. At the completion of one of Duane's classes, it is evident that students have developed an interest and appreciation for the course content and have also developed the ability to apply this knowledge in a practical setting.
"Helping students realize their roles and responsibilities in the learning process can be very challenging and time consuming. Duane constantly seeks and employs innovative techniques that engage the student in the learning process. He recognizes each student as an individual and attempts to apply an approach best suited to allow that student to meet the course objectives.
"Additionally, community individuals with disabilities are also contacted and encouraged to work with an FHSU student on a one-to-one basis."
Shepherd came to Fort Hays State University from Texas Woman's University in the fall of 1997. He received his Master of Arts in Education in Physical Education, with an emphasis in Adapted Physical Education.