Five Honored with 2017 Reich College of Education Outstanding Faculty Awards

Five Reich College of Education faculty members have been honored with Outstanding Faculty Awards:

  • Eric Groce: Outstanding Teaching Award
  • David Koppenhaver: Outstanding Mentoring Award
  • Lisa Poling: Outstanding Service Award
  • Brandy Bryson: Outstanding Scholarship/Creative Achievement Award
  • Brooke Hardin: Outstanding Adjunct or Instructor/Clinical Faculty Award

Pictured from top left, clockwise: Eric Groce, David Koppenhaver, Lisa Poling, Brooke Hardin, Brandy Bryson

College faculty, staff and students were invited to nominate faculty in the above categories. Nominated faculty were then asked to provide supporting portfolios.

Committee chair, Dr. Kim Becnel, Associate Professor of Library Science, expressed her thanks to all who nominated a colleague or submitted a portfolio and said of this year's submissions, "The submissions were amazing, as usual, and we always find ourselves truly inspired by the creativity and dedication of the RCOE faculty. We're honored to be part of this process, which is—at its heart—an effort to foster a supportive community in which we find joy in celebrating each other's success."

About the Winners

Eric GroceEric Groce
2017 Outstanding Teaching Award

Dr. Eric Groce is a professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at Appalachian State University's Reich College of Education. He joined the faculty in 2004. Prior to coming to Appalachian, Groce was an assistant professor at Mississippi State University as well as a former elementary school teacher.

His teaching, research, and service focus primarily on elementary level social studies. He aims to provide preservice teachers with opportunities to develop the creative and critical thought processes necessary to plan and deliver engaging lessons. To this end, he helps prepare his students for the challenges of their own classrooms by integrating his classroom experience and expertise in children's trade books, primary sources, experiential learning, and field trips into his courses.

About receiving the Outstanding Teaching Award, Groce said, "I am deeply honored to receive this award. Every day I walk into this College, I am in the midst of outstanding teachers. To be recognized for my own teaching among such talented colleagues is quite a humbling experience – I'm not even the best teacher in my own home!"

David KoppenhaverDavid Koppenhaver
2017 Outstanding Mentoring Award

Dr. David Koppenhaver is a professor in the Department of Reading Education and Special Education. He was hired by the Reich College of Education in 2004.

His research focuses on literacy in children with significant disabilities including autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, complex communication needs, and multiple disabilities. In 1990, he co-founded the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at UNC and in 2002 was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Queensland in Australia.

"Winning this award means that I've had some really talented students with whom to collaborate," said Koppenhaver. "They have asked great questions, identified creative solutions to complex problems, put in long hours honing both their teaching and scholarship, and kept me more organized than I can keep myself. Their intellect, energy, commitment, and ambition push me daily to seek out worthwhile projects and new professional opportunities to continue to broaden and deepen their already impressive skillsets."

Lisa PolingLisa Poling
2017 Outstanding Service Award

Dr. Lisa Poling is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction. She joined the Reich College of Education faculty in 2010 after earning her PhD. Currently she teaches junior and senior level undergraduate courses in mathematic pedagogy and content and is a member of graduate faculty.

Poling's research interests include using mathematics to explore issues of social justice, development of preservice teachers' knowledge of mathematics, and how teachers' define their sense of responsibility in teaching mathematics.

Poling is active in various national organizations and holds the position of Associate Vice President for Awards for the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE). She also holds the position of secretary for the North Carolina affiliate of AMTE.

About receiving the Outstanding Service Award, Poling said, "The idea of service is part of the Reich College of Education's Mission and Vision Statements, therefore in providing service to others I hope to model the leadership we espouse in our students. When thinking about all of the service engagement within RCOE, I am humbled to be selected."

Brandy BrysonBrandy Bryson
2017 Outstanding Scholarship/Creative Achievement Award

"This award keeps me motivated to persevere in the difficult work of deeply understanding how injustice is embedded in institutions and to continue to educate and effect change for inclusive excellence," said Dr. Brandy Bryson.

Bryson is an assistant professor in the Educational Foundations program in the Department of Leadership and Educational Studies. Bryson was hired by the Reich College of Education first as a visiting assistant professor in 2012, then in her current role in 2013. Bryson teaches Critical Perspectives on Learning and Teaching for teacher education majors as well as undergraduate and graduate courses on race, equity, and social justice.

Her research focuses on inclusive diversity, equity, and social justice broadly with a particular emphasis on racial literacy and racial equity in society and schools, PK-Doctorate. She has published numerous manuscripts, articles and book chapters. Additionally, Bryson has given over 30 presentations at international, national, and regional conferences.

Bryson has chaired three honors theses, has chaired the 2017 Naylor Award dissertation, and has served on several dissertation committees. She has also collaborated on a number of equity and inclusion initiatives at Appalachian and beyond.

Brooke HardinBrooke Hardin
2017 Outstanding Adjunct or Instructor/Clinical Faculty Award

Brooke Hardin is an instructor in the Departments of Reading Education and Special Education and Curriculum and Instruction as well as a current doctoral student in the Educational Leadership program. She was hired by the Reich College of Education in 2014. She received her M.A. in Reading Education from Appalachian State University, and her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Hardin's research interests include writing development and instruction for intermediate and middle grades students, teaching and learning through technology and new literacies, literacy professional development and teacher education, and interdisciplinary approaches to reading, writing, and the utilization of Children's Literature.

Hardin said, "I am truly honored to be selected by my colleagues and students for a teaching award and to be in the same company with those that have won the award prior to me. Teacher education is my passion and I am inspired to give my best by my excellent students and other talented faculty."

RCOE 2017 Faculty Award winners
Published: May 9, 2017 10:37am