How does Dr. Charlene Simmons’ mannequin Quinn C. Law play a role in the development of critical thinking at UTC?
Simmons teaches Mass Communication Law and Ethics, a course that can intimidate even the brightest students. Quinn lightens the mood with his ability to act out legal and ethical issues.
It’s just one reason Simmons, UC Foundation Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, was selected with two other professors as the first recipients of the ThinkAchieve Faculty Awards, which provide recognition and monetary awards for faculty members who have demonstrated exemplary teaching that meets the goals of ThinkAchieve.
ThinkAchieve is a way for UTC students to increase their overall critical thinking skills, as exhibited by the ability to identify, evaluate, and interpret information; solve problems, develop innovative solutions through creative thinking; and communicate ideas and information effectively, according to Dawn Ford, Assistant Director, Walker Center for Teaching and Learning.
Additional recipients of the 2013 ThinkAchieve Faculty Awards are:
- Dr. Jennifer Boyd, Assistant Professor, Biological and Environmental Sciences, who is active in curriculum development for biology courses through which she promotes inquiry-based learning. She is also engaged in community-based educational outreach.
- Dr. Lisa Burke, UC Foundation Professor, College of Business, who uses many teaching techniques to encourage critical thinking. She also uses her research as teaching moments.
“ThinkAchieve supports faculty members in enhancing teaching and learning at UTC through professional development opportunities, grants, and awards. Faculty members are integral players in promoting student critical thinking skills through the implementation of innovative classroom and experiential activities that promote active learning, and ThinkAchieve helps make that happen,” Ford explained.
Each professor earned a $1,000 award.
UTC’s focus on critical thinking is its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), the University’s effort toward SACs reaccreditation.