Tennessee Tech University announced the recipients of the 2011 Outstanding Faculty Awards. Both James Baier and Daniel Badoe received the Outstanding Faculty Award in Teaching. Helen Dainty received the Outstanding Faculty Award for Professional Service.
The awards are presented annually to honor faculty members for service and excellence both in and out of the classroom.
Well liked and respected by students and recognized by peers for his excellence in teaching, Badoe is described as one of the most effective teachers in the civil and environmental engineering department, where he has taught since 1998.
X. Sharon Huo, interim chairperson of civil engineering, says he brings an active learning, multi-disciplinary and hands-on approach to the transportation engineering classes he teaches. For example, she said, his spot speed study requires freshman level students to examine travel speeds on campus and, if students find that those speeds exceed the posted limits, propose cost effective measures to bring speeds into compliance.
Numerous students offered their support of Huo's description of Badoe.
Travis J. Bonar, a 2010 TTU graduate, said, "His positive and supportive attitude helped me personally to succeed both in and outside of class. His lessons are still with me today."
Graduate student Lindsay Bryant said Badoe's approach as a faculty adviser to several campus engineering organizations helps students develop their leadership potential.
"He is always pushing students to be better — to go beyond what is required," she said.
Professional engineer and graduate student John Hendrix said he knew he was in good hands with Dr. Badoe when he decided to take one of his transportation classes, which was not in Hendrix's own area of expertise.
"Dr. Badoe brings a level of knowledge to the classroom that is invaluable to this university. His love for teaching and helping students comprehend the material shows every day in class."
The teaching philosophy of Baier, an assistant professor of agriculture at TTU since 2005, can be summed up with one word: sincerity.
"Dr. Baier commands respect in the teaching arena not only because of his many abilities, but chiefly because of his sincerity," said Billye Foster, director of the School of Agriculture, characterizing Baier as a classic example of a "master teacher."
He currently teaches nine different courses each year and advises an average of 52 students each semester. He also serves as faculty adviser for several agricultural extracurricular organizations on campus and consistently earns exceptional teaching evaluations from students.
Professor B. Bruce Greene said Baier works hard to provide students with a proper balance of technical knowledge, critical thinking and practical application of the concepts he teaches.
"He is never too busy to spend time with them and help them learn, grow and solve problems," Greene said.
Former student Matthew Wiggins, now a graduate research assistant at the University of Tennessee, said that much of his personal success is due to Baier. "[He] always knew how to get the best out of me in school and life in general."
In addition to successfully maintaining instructional and student advisement duties, Helen Dainty, an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, "is committed to improving special education throughout the state, region and nation," according to Matthew Smith, chairperson of curriculum and instruction.
Dainty serves as director of the Special Education Summer Institute for the College of Education, maintains membership and participation in various other relevant professional organizations and undertakes a rigorous research agenda.
College of Educaiton Associate Dean Pat Jordan said, "She is a leader who does not hesitate to be the hardest worker at whatever she undertakes."
Dainty has developed and supervised a tutoring service at TTU through the Student Council for Exceptional Children and the Summer Institute. This service has provided more than 4,500 hours of free tutoring services for local children.
Dainty's involvement includes service on such university committees as the College of Education NCATE Committee, Faculty Senate, Administrative Council, and the Teacher Education Committee and faculty adviser for such campus student organizations as the TTU Newman Organization and Student Council for Exceptional Children.
She is president for the Tennessee International Dyslexia Association, chairperson for the Board of Directors for Community Options and program host for the CEC national conference. All of this is in addition to her support, expertise and in-service presentations that address special education needs in school systems throughout the region.
"She tirelessly gives of her time and talent to further her area of expertise and as a representative of Tennessee Tech University," Jordan said.