American National University has recognized three faculty members with the Faculty Instructional Excellence Award. This newly-established award recognizes faculty for their dedication to ANU students.
Faculty are nominated by the department chairperson and our selected based on four specific criteria:
- Commitment to teaching and to our students
- Intellectually stimulating our students through engagement and encouraging active learning
- Effectively communicating with students
- Establishing a positive and lasting impact on our students
The three recipients of the insugural Faculty Instructional Excellence Award are (in aplhabetical order):
Sharon Harding (nominated by Wendy Notz, paralegal program): Students, time and time again, will contact me and let me know how much she helps them both academically and on a personal level. She is their professor, as well as a mentor that the students really look up to. We consistently receive positive student feedback about Instructor Harding, from graduates and current students. Students have told me how much they enjoy her as a professor, and appreciate and respect her constructive, personalized feedback she provides them on assignments.
Sharon not only helps me with the paralegal program, but she has been a reliable colleague when I have needed professional and constructive advice. I have learned from her as well when it comes to teaching students as she has offered suggestions and ideas on how to be a better educator. I can count on her to follow ANU’s rules and policies, even when it can be difficult to do so. She is truly a team player and an exceptional educator.
Sharon Y. Harding has worked in the medical field for more than 10 years. She has worked in the legal field with attorneys and paralegals regarding medicolegal documents, and has taught at American National for more than 20 years. Sharon has an MBA with a specialization in healthcare management from ANU. She is a Certified Medical Assistant, and a Certified Professional Coder. Sharon was approved in 2020 by the ABA to teach paralegal courses. Sharon also teaches medical assisting, phlebotomy, ECG, and other medical courses.
Lyndsey Obringer (nominated by Dr. Carolyn Scott, business program): Lyndsey is always finding ways to engage with her students. She proactively sends me student updates, good and bad, and she also suggests improvements for the department, such as implementing Superheroes in the discussion board (i.e. everyone has a character to play—villain, superhero, victim, bystander, etc. This is designed to increase engagement and encourage the students to look at issues from the perspective of multiple stakeholders. This is, of course, just one example of an idea she recently shared. She is always demonstrating good team member and leadership skills.
She makes very good use of technology to provide video lectures in all her classes and requires video presentations in some of them. This enhances the students presentation skills, which they will need for employer-readiness.
In addition to being engaged, she is also always ready to take on a challenge. She asks to teach the courses with the lowest pass rates because she believes she can make a positive difference in everyone she reaches to improve those pass rates. So far she has been correct.
Lyndsey Obringer has served in a variety of positions over the past 13 years within the higher education sector, including admissions manager, director of graduate admissions, and ACBSP faculty credentialing coordinator. Lyndsey has been teaching full time and as an adjunct instructor for the past nine years.
Lyndsey received her bachelor's degree in business administration from Wilkes University, and her Master of Arts in leadership & organizational transformation from Chatham University; she is currently working on obtaining her Doctor of Strategic Leadership from Liberty University. She teaches various courses across the business program.
Jerry Officer (nominated by Constance Elam, pharmacy technician program): Jerry consistently demonstrates a passion for teaching and learning. Term over term, Jerry teaches PTA250 — Pharmacy Software Applications via global learn. PTA250 is one of the most challenging courses for pharmacy instructors to facilitate and for students to master. This course requires innovative instructional practices to guide students who have various levels of technology experience while also introducing and implementing an understanding of steps performed within a professional pharmacy software system while also educating the student on why the specific steps are performed. Instructor Officer does a great job of guiding the class at a consistent pace, offering feedback throughout the processes and tying the steps back to the course guidebook. Instructor Officer is professional and maintains a positive classroom environment which is conducive for learning. Instructor Officer completed term 201 with a 100% retention rate. Jerry has also taken over the responsibilities of working with students at the Nashville campus in establishing and maintaining externship sites.
Professor Officer taught in the public education system for three years after college graduation and has worked with the developmental disabled populations for nine years. He has been a nationally certified pharmacy technician since 2000, having worked for CVS Pharmacy, Secure Plus Pharmacy, and currently for Rite Aid/Walgreens Pharmacy. Professor Officer has taught for American National University since 2011 and is currently the the pharmacy technician department chair at the Nashville Campus.
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