Association Honors Faculty with Alumni Awards for Teaching

Faculty play a vital role in shaping students’ college experiences and maintaining bonds after students graduate from East Carolina University.

To this end, the East Carolina Alumni Association sponsors the University Alumni Awards for Outstanding Teaching and the Robert L. Jones ’58 Award for Teaching Excellence. The Office for Faculty Excellence coordinates the University Teaching Awards Program with the Faculty Senate Awards Committee and the University Academic Council.

These awards were among several given at the sixth annual Founders Day and University Awards Celebration on April 29 in Hendrix Theatre.

The 2015 University Alumni Awards for Outstanding Teaching went to Dr. Christine Kowalczyk, assistant professor in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, and Dr. David Loy, associate professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies.

Kowalczyk has been teaching at ECU since August 2011. She works with the ECU chapter of the American Marketing Association. She was selected by the Advertising Educational Foundation as one of 15 participants from across the nation for a visiting professor program in New York City in the summer of 2013 to gain current understanding of the advertising industry.

“Marketing is all around us, and I spend each day relating the topics we are learning to everyday examples,” she said in her teaching statement. “I challenge my students to think more critically. I encourage them to question what companies are doing for marketing and think about why the companies are doing what they are doing.”

One of her former students, David Rosenberg, said, “She has continuously helped me to succeed in my learning career even after I had completed her class.”

Loy is a nationally respected expert in therapeutic recreation who has been teaching at ECU since 2001. He has been integral to the success of ECU’s annual Adapted Recreation and Wellness Day, which has been held for more than 15 years. He received the 2010-2011 Ray Martinez Award for Excellence in Teaching from the College of Health & Human Performance.

“In all my classes, I build experiences that mimic and imitate real life learning,” Loy said in his teaching statement. “I feel it is my calling to bring my practical knowledge to students so they can apply it in a way that makes a difference in our world.”

“The best experience I had in my college career was taking Dr. Loy’s camping with disabilities class in the summer of 2010,” said Lauren Walters Harrell ’11, now the director of wellness at Cypress Glen Retirement Community. “He has been a great asset to me as I continue to learn and progress in my career.”

The 2015 Robert L. Jones ’58 Award for Teaching Excellence was given to Dr. Kris Kirschbaum, an assistant professor in the School of Communication.Kris-Kirschbaum

Kirschbaum has taught health communication at ECU for more than seven years. In 2011, she was recognized as the most inspiring faculty member in the School of Communication. In 2013, she received a STAR Teaching Award from ECU.

Kirschbaum believes student can be lifelong learners. “My goal as a professor is that students are curious about the world and hungry for more knowledge, even after a semester is over,” she said in her teaching statement.

“I am confident that my academic and professional success is in large part thanks to Dr. Kirschbaum’s investment in me during my time as a graduate student,” said Ryan A. Miller ’11, who is now a manager at MAXIMUS Center for Health Literacy.

The East Carolina Alumni Association is proud to recognize these faculty members for their dedication in preparing students to become successful alumni.

The portfolios of winners of the Robert L. Jones Award for Outstanding Teaching and the Alumni Association Awards for Outstanding Teaching, along with those for the Board of Governors Awards and the Max Ray Joyner Award for Outstanding Teaching in Distance Education are kept in the Office for Faculty Excellence in Joyner 1001 where they serve as resources on excellent teaching.

By Jackie Drake

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