volume 43, number 2
Temple UniversityFaculty Herald

Great Teachers Awards at Temple:

Surveying Womens' Success

By The Committee on Status of Women Faculty

   In celebration of the receipt of Great Teachers awards by three women faculty members, the Committee on Status of Women Faculty at Temple University developed a survey intended to bring out the nature and reasons for their successes. The Herald is delighted to publish their responses.

Joan Poliner Shapiro, Professor, Educational Leadership


1. What classes have you taught over the past 2 years (if applicable)?

    Gender Issues in Education and Ethical Educational Leadership


2. What is your research focus (if applicable)?
    My scholarship works well together with my teaching. Having co-directed the Women’s Studies Program at Penn, for a number of years, I still have a deep interest in gender issues. But over time, I have expanded my work to include not only women’s and girls’ studies, but also men’s and boys’ studies. I co-authored a book, with Alice Ginsberg and Shirley Brown, entitled Gender in Urban Education: Strategies for Student Achievement, published by Heinemann, and I try to keep up my scholarship in this area.
    Ethics is a very special topic of my work. Years ago, I team-taught a course at Penn with Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, a well-known feminist historian, and it focused on ethics and gender. I modified this offering over time, and it has become a required course in our educational leadership doctoral program. With Jacqueline Stefkovich, I wrote a book, called Ethical Leadership and Decision Making in Education, introducing the concept of the Multiple Ethical Paradigms of the ethics of justice, critique, care and the profession, that is now in its 3rd edition. With my Temple colleague, Steve Gross, I wrote another book that adds his Turbulence Theory to Jackie’s and my framework. This book, Ethical Educational Leadership in Turbulent Times, is now in its 2nd edition. Both books include practitioner cases from the field and are published with Routledge.


3. What do you enjoy most about being a faculty member at Temple?
    Currently, I really like getting to know faculty and administrators, from across the university, in my role as President of the Faculty Senate. Members of the Steering Committee of the Senate are amazing individuals willing to give so much to Temple. I am also especially fond of many of the faculty and administrators in the College of Education, whom I have known for a long time. Needless to say, I also truly enjoy my graduate students who are often not only students, but also tend to be educational leaders. They come with such varied backgrounds and truly highlight the diversity of Temple students.


4. What do you do for fun?
    Whenever possible, I like to be a Granny, and play with Sophie, age five, and Ben, age eight. Sophie wants to be a kid’s doctor when she grows up, and Ben would like to be a scientist, as he says, like his Grandpa. They are great fun!
    I also like to travel, and over the years, my husband, Irving, and I have visited many countries throughout the world. However, I find it so much more enjoyable if we know someone living there who can make our stay memorable. Because Irving and I work with faculty in other countries, our visits frequently combine both work and pleasure and are generally superb!


5. What do you hope to be doing in the next 10 years?
    I would like to continue to work on my scholarship. I also want to carry on working with colleagues from all over the world in a movement, started here at Temple, with Steve Gross, called the New DEEL (Democratic Ethical Educational Leadership). This movement, focusing on citizenship and on progressive education, is a growing one. We have colleagues now in over 20 research universities as well as practitioners, writing and developing curriculum related to the New DEEL, throughout the U.S. Additionally, we are part of a consortium of universities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Sweden. Visiting these different countries and being welcomed on diverse campuses has been a superb learning experience.


6. What does this award mean to you?
    The Great Teacher Award was one reward I never thought I would receive. It was members of the Faculty Development Committee in the College of Education, who asked me to become a candidate for it. I was honored to be recognized by my colleagues. Probably that meant more to me than anything else, as I know I am in a college of outstanding teachers.


7. In what ways can and/or has this award inspire(d) young female faculty members and students?
    Teaching, particularly in K-12 education, has always been a woman’s profession. Unfortunately, many of the leadership roles have gone to men. So, we have had a situation where women teach and men manage. The beauty of this award is that women can win it, and while it focuses on teaching, it is prestigious!


8. What advice do you have for young female faculty members at Temple?

    My advice for tenure track faculty is to not see the three pillars of teaching, research/scholarship/creative achievement, and service as separate silos. If you can possibly do this, try to have them dovetail in some way. I know that not every faculty member is able to accomplish this, but it can really make a difference if these areas align. Although service is not recognized as much as it should be, I would ask young women faculty members to spend some time working on committees, hopefully that are of interest. Serving on various committees not only helps the university, but it also assists a faculty member to get known.
    As for teaching faculty, needless to say, your focus has to be on instruction, but do try to publish from time to time and serve on committees when you can. I know a great deal is asked of you in regards to teaching, but it is important not to totally ignore scholarship and service so that you can develop a curriculum vitae that may help you for future university positions.

9. How can the status of women at Temple University be improved?
    I believe that a woman can’t do everything alone. Women need to help other women move forward. Cooperation rather than competition should be a goal. That is why a group, such as the Status of Women Committee, is invaluable. Sharing concerns and trying to carry out joint problem solving can make a great difference in each of the member’s working and even private life. A support group, providing mentors and offering some meaningful discussions, can assist in making positive differences to the status of women at Temple.


10. What was your most memorable teaching moment?
    Recently, I spoke at the University’s Convocation in my role as President of the Faculty Senate. The focus of my talk was diversity. I emphasized the importance of new students speaking to others who are different from themselves, and I discussed the informal learning that could take place in such interactions. In the sea of thousands of “fresh persons,” one student sent me an email. He said that my brief speech had genuinely affected him. The student stated that, because of my presentation, he intends to seek out others who are different from himself, although he knows this effort will be outside of his comfort zone. I could not be more pleased by this wonderful email! It appeared to be a teachable moment, at least for one individual.

 

Dr. Shohreh Amini, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies & Research


1. What classes have you taught over the past 2 years (if applicable)?
    Virology, Biotechnology


2. What is your research focus (if applicable)?
    Designing therapeutics against viral induced neurological Diseases


3. What do you enjoy most about being a faculty member at Temple?
    Students, specially undergraduate students who are so eager to learn


4. What do you do for fun?
    Walk in the park


5. What do you hope to be doing in the next 10 years?
    Teaching and continuing my research


6. What does this award mean to you?
    It means the world to me. Being awarded for what you enjoy doing is absolutely great. It is an honor.


7. In what ways can and/or has this award inspire(d) young female faculty members and students?
    I have heard from many of my female students that they use me as a role model in their career. This means a lot to me. The same has been true with younger faculty colleagues.


8. What advice do you have for young female faculty members at Temple?
   Stay focused, work hard and have confidence in yourself, and most importantly enjoy teaching/mentoring our fabulous students.


9. How can the status of women at Temple University be improved?
    Through more active mentorship. If more senior faculty take the time to talk about their hurdles and share some of the challenges they faced and how they overcame such difficulties, younger faculty would tremendously benefit from it.


10. What was your most memorable teaching moment?
    When a student came to me after class and said that she finally gets it!! everything they learned in introductory courses now has been put in perspective and it all makes sense.

 

Dr. Sarah Bauerle Bass, Associate Professor of Public Health


1. What classes have you taught over the past 2 years (if applicable)?
    I teach both undergraduate and graduate public health classes. At the undergraduate level I teach a two semester capstone, writing intensive course that teaches community based public health intervention planning and evaluation through the mechanism of writing a grant. I also teach a one-week intensive AIDS and Society course. At the graduate level I teach Risk Communication, which focuses on how to respond and develop messages in the time of a high-stress crisis.


2. What is your research focus (if applicable)?
    I am co-Director of the Risk Communication Laboratory. We’re using a number of methods to develop and test risk communication messages. I have particular interest in populations with limited literacy and how individuals process and understand messages.


3. What do you enjoy most about being a faculty member at Temple?
    I truly enjoy Temple students. They come from every background and walk of life which makes the classroom interesting and constantly evolving. I would also say that being part of the Temple community allows me intellectual freedom of discovery in a microcosm of different cultures.


4. What do you do for fun?
    With two daughters, most of my extra time is taking them from place to place! But if I have a minute I’ve become an extremely focused “Words with Friends” player. I also read and enjoy swimming.


5. What do you hope to be doing in the next 10 years?
    I would hope that I continue to be a passionate advocate for public health, public health education and the education of our citizenry on the importance of public health. I would assume this will be as a continuing part of the Temple family, but whatever the circumstance I can’t see myself doing anything else.

6. What does this award mean to you?
    This award is a very humbling honor; it is recognition of my teaching but more importantly recognition of my students and their ability to become passionate and engaged in the public health field.

7. In what ways can and/or has this award inspire(d) young female faculty members and students?
    I would hope that young female faculty members and students see that all things are possible. When I started teaching I didn’t think about awards; I was happy if I got my papers graded and class materials done on time. But success in the classroom and as a faculty member in the academy is an evolving premise. Female faculty need to remember what is important to them and make sure that students know that too. This models for students, especially female students, that you can be successful and also have a family and a “life.” Often I have female students ask me how I made the decisions I did and how I’ve juggled my work and personal life. I usually say that if you’re passionate about both, you will be able to do both. It also helps to have a really supportive husband/partner!

8. What advice do you have for young female faculty members at Temple?
    My biggest advice would be to be aware of what’s most important in life. If you do, and keep it in focus, you will succeed. Part of that is knowing when to reach out to others. Having other female faculty - who have navigated academic waters, who have been through teaching issues, who have survived the promotion/tenure process, who have been through changes in leadership - is invaluable. They know not only the context in which all these activities occur but have had to make similar decisions. They are an invaluable asset. One of the most important people in my life has been my academic-turned-colleague mentor. She was a “Great Teacher” herself at Temple and her guidance has been a cornerstone of my career. Don’t exist in a vacuum. Reach out and utilize the resources that are available.

9. What was your most memorable teaching moment?
   My most memorable teaching moment occurred a few years ago when one of my students was tragically murdered about two-thirds of the way through the semester. As part of the two semester capstone course this group of students had been together for the entire academic year and losing a friend and fellow student was devastating for them. This opportunity really tested me as a teacher, who had to play the role of consoler but also of leader, attempting to create an atmosphere in which it was ok to mourn but also to go on. This challenge really instilled in me why what we do is so important and that the effect we have on our students’ lives can be tremendous.  •