The ballots have been collected and counted, and graduate students across campus have chosen Dr. Diana Hulse as this year’s Graduate Teacher of the Year. The award is sponsored by Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit
“It’s the best honor in the world, because it comes from students,” said Dr. Hulse, who arrived at Fairfield in 2007 to chair the Department of Counselor Education. Previously, she spent 13 years at the University of Maine and 11 at the University of New Orleans. Two years after she arrived, the Graduate School of Education and Allied Profession’s master’s degree counseling programs were accredited again by CACREP (Council for Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs) for an eight-year period. The department has recently begun two advanced training certificate programs in Spirituality and Religion in Counseling and in Substance Abuse Counseling.
“People learn best in an atmosphere which fosters mutual respect and allows for the expression of a wide range of ideas,” Dr. Hulse once wrote in a statement outlining her teaching philosophy. “Good instruction means accepting people wherever they are in their intellectual and/or clinical development and at the same time challenging them to expand their horizons.”
According to students who wrote in to cast their votes, Dr. Hulse does all that, and more.
“I’ve not had a professor, or teacher for that matter, in my schooling who better communicates the subject material through a unique, experiential approach,” writes one. “To see her in a classroom setting is to see the material itself coming to life.”
“She makes it clear to each student that they are an integral part of the learning experience, and encourages everyone to fully engage in the process,” says Graduate Assistant Joe Graziano, who is also in the counselor education program. “Students’ comprehension of the course material is enhanced through interpersonal learning and sharing of ideas and insight. Dr. Hulse is able to show students how what they have learned in class can be applied to work outside of the classroom.”
Dr. Hulse was honored at a reception on Tuesday, March 27, in the Kelley Center.
When Dr. Hulse arrived at Fairfield, “She brought not only her scholarly expertise in group work but also an extensive experience as a teacher and mentor to graduate students in counselor education programs,” said Dr. Susan Franzosa, dean of the College of Education and Allied Professions. “This award is a well deserved recognition of her contributions to the education graduate students receive here at Fairfield.
This is the second year in a row that a GSEAP faculty member has been so honored; Dr. Wendy Kohli was named Grad Teacher of the Year in 2010-11.
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