Nursing faculty member awarded for excellence in teaching

Photo of Mary Stahl.Bronson School of Nursing Master Faculty Specialist Mary Stahl has been selected to receive the 2013-14 College of Health and Human Services Teaching Excellence Award 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. Support for Stahl’s nomination came from a number of students, alumni, co-workers and community members.

Whether in the classroom, laboratory or clinical setting, this award recipient is known to create a safe learning environment, allowing for discovery learning. She is enthusiastic and prepared, continually updating her methods and content and using evidence based research to ensure that her course and clinical content are current. “Her exemplary teaching abilities have helped shape my current career and my skill set as a surgical trauma intensive care nurse,” wrote a former student and mentee. “Through hands-on, innovative, and practical teaching methods, Professor Stahl stands out...Most importantly, it was with her that I learned to truly listen to my patients; to sit down at the bedside and speak to my patients as human beings.”

Stahl provides active learning experiences that engage students and are appropriate for their level of experience. For example, for a course that covers physical assessment across the lifespan, she designed and coordinates a grand rounds workshop every semester, bringing in elders, pregnant women and children for assessments. “This experience was not required to meet the detailed outcomes of the course,” noted one nominator, “but she went above and beyond to enhance our knowledge, vary our experiences and set us up for success in future courses.”

As a site coordinator at local hospitals and in other capacities in the community, Stahl successfully maintains collaboration, communication and supportive relationships among students and a variety of other constituents. “Her ability to collaborate with those outside of the College of Health and Human Services represents us positively,” stated one supporter. Another added, “It is obvious that she is respected by the nursing staff and administration…they speak highly of her and seek her opinion on issues of patient care.”

In summary, a nominator wrote, “Mary is an excellent educator who goes above and beyond to advocate for students and patients. She has high standards for student performance yet works with students to ensure that safe, competent patient care is delivered. She makes learning exciting which serves to motivate students to do their best work.”

Selected from among eight nominees, Stahl will receive a monetary award and will be honored at a faculty/staff recognition celebration on Dec. 5, 2014.