Dr. Carol Patrick wins FHSU award for innovative teaching

HAYS, KS -- Dr. Carol Patrick, assistant professor of psychology, has been named by a faculty recognition committee as the recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Innovation Award for her performance in Fort Hays State University's College of Arts and 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. Dr. Patrick is the recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Innovation Award for December. She received a check for $300 and a university lapel pin that signifies teaching excellence. The university provides two-thirds of the financial award and the other third comes from Commerce Bank of Hays, which established a fund with the university to help recognize outstanding faculty teaching.

Dr. Patrick uses structured learning experiences in a dynamic way to, in her words, "make the theory I present in class relevant to the students." For example, in her course "The Criminal Mind" she obtained four actual case files from a member of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit that included all the crime scene details from four serial murders. Students were required to profile the possible perpetrators, and then those profiles were compared to the actual FBI profiles. This taught students how to think critically about crime scenes by applying the profiling theory they learned in class to real cases.

In another example, Dr. Patrick asks students in her "Psychology of Aging" class to describe important historical events, fads, inventions and sociopolitical changes that occurred when their parents were adolescents and young adults. An interesting consequence of this project is that students talk to their parents about matters they would not generally discuss with them and most students come to understand their parents better.

Patrick joined the FHSU faculty in 1997. She earned a bachelor's degree from Southwestern College, Winfield, and her master's degree and doctorate from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

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