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A professor at Penn State's Greater Allegheny Campus in McKeesport is one of six statewide honored with the university's award for excellence in teaching.
Megan L. Nagel, professor of chemistry, was named on April 22 one of the recipients of the George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching for 2016.
The award is named after Penn State’s seventh president.
Nagel says she views learning as a "two-way street."
“A classroom that allows for students’ questions, a lack of judgment, and a call to think critically contributes to an environment that’s ripe for learning,” she says.
Nagel says most of her students won't go onto a career in chemistry, so it’s important that she teaches students information that’s still relevant in their future careers.
“If I can teach students how to learn, then I have ultimately achieved my goal,” Nagel says.
Colleagues praised Nagel’s ability to tackle tough topics with ease. She uses a series of pre-class videos to help prepare students. Using in-class clicker questions, partially filled-out handouts, small group discussions, she pulls students into the material and constantly engages them.
“Dr. Nagel is a great teacher and scholar who is devoted to student-centered learning,” said a colleague. “She makes a tremendous contribution to the life of this campus.”
Other Penn State faculty honored include Robert Beaury of the College of Engineering, Nathan Greenauer, assistant professor of psychology at Penn State Berks; Timothy W. Kelsey, professor of agricultural economics in the College of Agricultural Sciences; Nicholas J. Rowland, associate professor of sociology at Penn State Altoona; and Jaime Schultz, associate professor of kinesiology in the College of Health and Human Development.
Originally published April 28, 2016.