Students in class

Dr. Daniel Meissner
Department of History

Dr. Daniel Meissner, associate professor of history, is an expert on East Asian civilization who teaches surveys and seminars focused on promoting cross-cultural awareness and understanding. One of his colleagues wrote that Meissner has the ability to transform the classroom into “magical places where students pass through a Narnian wardrobe only to find themselves trans- planted in Confucian cosmological workshops, Qin calligraphic practice with ink and brush, Buddhist tea ceremonies and walking tours through China.”

Meissner received a Fulbright Award to teach in China during the 2011–12 academic year, which prompted him to deepen students’ educa- tional experiences by developing two interdisciplinary summer study abroad courses in China for undergraduates. In the classroom, Meissner makes it a point to call on each student every class. “I challenge my students to recall information, draw links to other lectures or courses, express opinions, formulate hypotheses, question interpretations, or anticipate outcomes,” he says.

Meissner strives to have a positive impact on students inside and outside of the classroom, in Milwaukee and around the world in China. He has served as the director of undergraduate studies in the Department of History since 2010 and also works to assist Chinese exchange students adjust to life in the Midwest.

Dr. Sandra Hunter
Department of Physical Therapy

Dr. Sandra Hunter, associate professor of exercise science, represents the very best of the teacher-scholar model. In addition to being a Teaching Excellence Award winner this year, she also received the 2014–15 Way Klingler Fellowship in the sciences for her work on reversing the effects of Type 2 diabetes. Hunter’s commitment to both teaching and scholar- ship is evident both inside and outside of the classroom. She has mentored more than 38 undergraduate and professional students in her lab since 2003, including serving as co-author for at least 21 students on over 36 peer-reviewed scientific papers out of 60 career papers published in internationally respected journals.

Always open to feedback, Hunter has experimented with the flipped classroom model, which enables her to use class time for increased interactive learning. Students commented on the many opportunities she provided for peer collaboration and participation, as well as hands-on learning, noting that Hunter’s enthusiasm for her field of work was contagious. Hunter teaches classes in the areas of exercise and applied physiology, and says that besides teaching the required content, she emphasizes and teaches “transferrable skills that will allow students to stay current in a rapidly changing world where they will be changing jobs on average every five years,” such as resourcefulness, presentation skills, problem solving, deductive reasoning, critical thinking, perseverance and effective communication.

Dr. John Su
Department of English (Gettel Award)

Dr. John Su, professor of English and director of the Core of Common Studies, is known to be one of the most popular professors in his department, and one of the most challenging. A former director of the University Honors Program noted that Su is able to “challenge the very top students without losing the students who struggle more with the material.” Both graduate and undergraduate students echo this sentiment, noting that Su’s expectations for his students are always very high. One undergraduate student said, “He took me off cruise control. He made me work to succeed. He made me push myself. He inspired me to earn achievement rather than accepting it.”

Su pushes no one harder than himself, saying revision is the key to his success in the classroom. “I fail all the time — every semester,” Su says. “I experiment with new approaches, assignments and topics. Often, they don’t work the first or second time, or ever. I try to be a relentless critic of my pedagogy, to learn and revise.”

As director of the Core of Common Studies, Su has worked to refine assessment procedures and ready the university for an extensive program review. He has developed and taught more than 20 courses while at Marquette, which is highly unusual. Having taught in the Department of English, the University Honors Program and several common core courses, Su’s teaching reach extends to students in majors and disciplines across campus.

Dr. Terence Ow
Department of Management

Dr. Terence T. Ow, associate professor of management, regularly teaches an introductory course that is critical for undergraduates, as it can often set students on a positive trajectory. And it is clear from his teaching evalua- tion scores that he consistently does just that. The course is an enriching experience for students because they are engaged in semester-long projects, applying their knowledge and creating much-needed database solutions for local service organizations. Many of Ow’s former students decided to pursue careers in informational technology after taking his introductory course.

Students appreciate Ow’s use of the Socratic method and his rigorous expectations because they push them to perform at a higher level. A former student said, “There was never an ‘easy’ day in his classroom, but there was also never a day I didn’t grow and develop in my knowledge.” Outside the classroom, Ow has an open door policy, and students often attend his office hours for questions about coursework, career choice, internships and job interviews.

Ow holds himself to the same high expectations he holds his students, challenging himself to be as relevant as possible in the dynamic area of technology. “I recently shadowed partners in an accounting firm to explore and examine the various roles our students will be expected to take on in their careers,” Ow says. “It was also a reality check for me to see if the knowledge and skill sets that I teach were relevant for our students. I always want to be sure I set them up to be as successful as possible in their chosen field given today’s ever changing technology.”

University Honors