BUCKHANNON – An associate professor of gender studies was presented with an award for exemplary teaching during the 2023 Founder’s Day convocation at West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Wesleyan’s Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Lynn Linder, introduced Dr. Jessica Scott as the recipient of the Exemplary Teaching Award at the ceremony on Friday, Sept. 29.
“Each year, West Virginia Wesleyan College recognizes the accomplishments of an extraordinary teacher, one who is dedicated to the growth of our students and committed to the highest academic standards to create a campus environment in which learning flourishes,” Linder said. “The recipient of today’s award not only meets these criteria but also offers courses that are the embodiment of a liberal arts education and the mission of West Virginia Wesleyan College.”
Scott challenges students to think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, act responsibly, and demonstrate their local and global leadership citizenship through service, Linder noted.
“In the words of one student, ‘This professor is beyond knowledgeable in the field, and this professor does an excellent job at breaking down abstract complex ideas. I feel that I am now able to break down ideas on my own and formulate better arguments,'” Linder said. “This is just one of so many examples of how this professor fosters a learning environment where students are empowered to go beyond what they ever thought they were capable of.”
Linder said she has never known another professor who dedicates more of their time or resources to their students.
“This professor is also well known for collaborating with other faculty to provide our students with transformative educational experiences,” she said. “In the words of one of these colleagues, ‘This professor cares about students in ways that go far beyond delivering content in the classroom; she applauds their successes, encourages them through their struggles, and their students love her back. They know they have been truly seen by her and she wants them to thrive.’”
Scott received glowing reviews in her student evaluations, but Linder said one really stood out.
“I think this evaluation truly captured the impact that this professor has had on each and every one of her students,” Linder said before reading from the evaluation. “‘She is a treasure we do not deserve; not only does take a class full of folks who are a little scared and unsure of each other and make us all trust, but she also gave us the space to be vulnerable and to be honest with ourselves and each other. Her ability to facilitate class discussion goes beyond compare any professor I have ever had. She is truly amazing.”