Lifelong Learner Helen Lee Selected for Teaching Excellence Award

Photo of Helen Lee.Known as a lifelong learner who inspires students to be learners, Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies Assistant Professor Helen Lee has been selected to receive the 2012-2013 College of Health and Human Services Teaching Excellence Award. Dr. Lee was selected based on her teaching skills in all three areas of the award criteria: classroom teaching, creative/innovative work as regards teaching, fieldwork or supervision, and teaching that involves interdisciplinary or collaborative activity.

Dr. Lee freely shares her breadth and depth of knowledge with students and is sought out as a teacher, supervisor and mentor. Tailoring her lectures for specific student populations, she makes education real, applying theory to practice. “It only took me a short time…to recognize that Dr. Helen Lee was a natural born teacher,” stated one nominator. “Her passion for working with students can be immediately recognized.”

Dr. Lee has grown the adaptive technology class to include the newest devices such as the iPad and iPhone. Her students have conducted task analyses on how to teach these devices. “She is continuously ahead of the times and understands the importance of the growing field of technology and the impact it will have on consumers with blindness and low vision,” wrote another nominator.

Committed to collaboration in the classroom and the community, this award winner provides opportunities for students to work together as a way to prepare for the profession and contribute to the greater good. Her students are asked to develop recommendations about the accessibility of various exhibits for the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, and they have made recommendations regarding online education accessibility that have been implemented by WMU Extended University Programs vendors. 

Selected from among nine nominees, Dr. Lee will receive a monetary award and will be honored at a faculty/staff recognition celebration on Dec. 6, 2013. College of Health and Human Services Dean Earlie Washington wishes to thank everyone who nominated and expressed support for the Teaching Excellence Award. “Teaching excellence is a standard and tradition in our college,” she notes, “and I appreciate everyone’s efforts to create a supportive environment in which teaching is highly valued.”             

Previous award recipients

  • Robert O. LaDuke, 1997-98
  • Molly Vass, 1998-99
  • Debra Lindstrom, 2000
  • Jaclyn West Frasier, 2000
  • Susan Ponchillia, 2002
  • Diane Dirette, 2003
  • David Orchanian, 2004
  • Sandra Edwards, 2005
  • Diane Hamilton, 2006-07
  • Carla Chase, 2008-09
  • Phil Walcott, 2009-10
  • Sally Vliem, 2010-11
  • Linda Reeser, 2011-12