Top univeristy teachers to be celebrated at Long Island University

Professors demonstrate teaching and academic excellence in fields of pharmacology, English, finance, health, nursing, speech and marine science.

Brookville, NY - What separates a good educator from an outstanding one? What does a professor bring into the classroom that makes his students want to learn? This year, Long Island University will honor seven educators with its distinguished David Newton Award for Excellence in Teaching for their outstanding commitment to the university and its students.

Members of the University community and friends are invited to the C.W. Post Campus for the ceremony and reception on Monday, March 30 from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Gold Coast Room off Northern Boulevard in Brookville.

Computer-assisted lectures, recitation sessions and case studies are what Dr. Michelle K. Bazil, assistant professor of pharmacology, uses to enhance students' interest, to develop their problem-solving skills and emphasize team work. Bazil, a resident of New York City, joined the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 1993 after working as a senior research pharmacologist at American Cyanamid. She has collaborated with other faculty members on educational innovations including curricular spiraling, where important concepts from one course are repeated or elaborated on in subsequent courses. This encourages students to recognize the relationships among the courses and the importance of skills gained in each one. Bazil received a BS in pharmacy from the University of Georgia and MS and Ph.D. degrees in pharmacology from Emory University.

"Teaching without zest is a crime," as Virginia Woolf once said. That is the motto of Dr. Katherine Hill-Miller. For the past 18 years Hill-Miller has been teaching English to C.W. Post students. Her students repeatedly describe her enthusiasm and vigor in the classroom, her patient ability to prod students to formulate and articulate their own ideas, her knack for engaging all in discussion and her gift for making difficult, abstract, ideas clear. As the director of two prestigious seminars in London sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, she has guided secondary school teachers as they immersed themselves in the works of Woolf and brought their enthusiasim for the Woolf texts back to the United States for high school students. Hill-Miller is also the director of the freshman composition program at C.W. Post and lives in Port Washington.

Dr. Lorene Hiris keeps at the cutting edge of her discipline for her students through her affiliation with the Economic Cycle Research Institute where she is a senior research scholar. An associate professor of finance at C.W. Post, Hiris has come full circle. She received her BS in business from the Brooklyn Campus and an MBA in finance from C.W. Post before earning her doctorate, awarded with the highest distinction, from the Lubin School of Business at Pace University. In addition to having taught the many offerings of the finance department, Hiris also served as academic assistant to the university dean of business and chair of the department of finance. On a monthly basis she examines and interprets newly released data and writes about the current economy and future outlook for five major market economies. Hiris, who lives in New Hyde Park, was among the first to receive Teaching and Learning Initiative Faculty Fellowships for this academic year. With another professor she is developing an interactive-course Web page for Post students.

The power of knowledge is what fuels Dr. Mary C. Trotto's belief in the importance of teaching. Trotto, who is an associate professor of health, physical education and movement science at C.W. Post, believes good teaching unlocks students' abilities to wonder, explore and challenge the world of knowledge. The day she started high school is the day she decided she wanted to be a teacher. She attended Hunter College and then Columbia University Teacher's College. She now lives in Smithtown. "Everything we learn becomes a part of who we are, and what we bring to our lives," she says. "It is what we can give to others."

Dr. Corazon Paca-Van Derveer, associate professor of nursing at the Brooklyn Campus, has been untiring in finding unique clinical placements for students that offer myriad opportunities in development of clinical skills and professional growth. She is particularly noted for her use of innovative teaching strategies and for her ability to identify and develop highly desirable clinical sites and affiliations, assisting students in making connections between classroom and clinical experiences. She has been a member of the Pew Foundation Seminars for Faculty Development and the Title III Grant for Faculty Development. Paca-Van Derveer lives in New York City.

Sylvia Yudice Walters, associate professor of speech at the Brooklyn campus, has been a guiding light for a university that prides itself on cultural diversity. Fluent in both English and Spanish, and with advanced fluency in Sign Language, Walters has been invaluable in teaching about communicative disorders in bilingual and multilingual programs in speech and language pathology. She holds two academic degrees from Brooklyn, lives in Brooklyn and is a doctoral candidate at NYU.

More at home in a wetsuit than a business suit, Dr. Stephen Tettelbach takes every opportunity to get students out of the classroom and into the field where they can learn by doing. A resident of Mastic, Tettelbach feels this allows students to reconnect with what got them interested in biology in the first place-nature. After completing his bachelor's degree at the University of Miami and his Master's at the University of Washington, he went home to Connecticut as a marine microbiologist. After earning his Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut, he came to Southampton college as a professor of marine science. Following the advice a friend gave him any years ago "to never study something you can't eat," Tettelbach's research has been focused on bay scallops for more than 20 years.

Winners of the 1998 David Newton Awards for Excellence in Teaching were selected by a committee of their peers following nomination and support from faculty, students and alumni. The award is named for Dr. David Newton, a former executive vice president of Long Island University.