The Center for Teaching and Learning proudly recognizes UT faculty who incorporate active and innovative learning strategies into their classrooms through technology, pedagogy, and/or reflective practice. If you know of a faculty member who deserves a Spotlight, please nominate them by emailing their name and a brief letter of support to Wendy.Schatzberg@utahtech.edu.
Dr. Matt Smith-Lahrman
Dr. Matt Smith-Lahrman is a Professor of Sociology at Utah Tech University and has been for the past 23 years. At the beginning of his career at UT (which back then was still a community college), he was the only sociologist at the university, and he’s been in the same office here ever since. He is now the Program Director of Applied Sociology, his program has grown a lot since he first got here. He’s really proud of how far it’s come in his time since it took about 10 years from his arrival for the university to even consider offering sociology as a bachelor’s degree.
Dr John Wolfe Assistant Professor of Humanities
Dr. John Wolfe is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Utah Tech University and has been for the past 7 years. When it comes to the areas that he teaches, Dr. Wolfe likes to quote Johnny Cash, “I’ve been everywhere, man!” As the only philosopher on campus, Dr. Wolfe specializes in working in almost every area of philosophy, such as Bio-Ethics, Philosophy of Games and Sport, Philosophy of Literature, Aesthetics (the Discussion of Nature and Beauty), Ethics, and more.
The Movement to an Online Teaching Experience
Dr. Kari Gali, Assistant Professor of Education, has been at Utah Tech University (UT) for about four years. Dr. Gali has a background in special education but has recently been teaching general elementary school education. In the spring of 2020, there was an abrupt and immediate shift to online teaching. As a result, Dr. Gali dove into online teaching techniques to find a more effective way to teach.
Teaching People, Not a Subject
Dr. Jason L. Wilde is an Assistant Professor of Family Studies and Human Development at Utah Tech University and has been for five years. Dr. Wilde specializes in family life education, particularly marriage and parent education. He teaches courses in marriage preparation and enhancement, family relationships, and human development. Students are the focus of his teaching–Dr. Wilde says he “teaches students, not material.”
Active Learning and Real-Life Application
Prof. Susan Ertel, Associate Professor of English, has been at Utah Tech University (UT) for 23 years, with January being her teaching anniversary. Ms. Ertel’s specialty is working with under-prepared students. She specializes in working with these students in composition, but she covers many other general areas of college life as well.
Designing the Online Teaching Experience
Dr. Tracy Fawns, Assistant Professor of Nursing has been at Utah Tech University (UT) since January of 2018. Her teaching specialties lie in research, which she does as much of as she can, as well as organizational leadership and health systems. She contributes this knowledge to the UT Undergraduate Research Committee, as well as the research committee for the College of Health Sciences, and chair for the research committee for the UT Department of Nursing.
"Just in Time" Teaching
Dr. Timothy Francis, Associate Professor of Music, has been at Utah Tech University (UT) since 2012. His primary area of expertise is Music Theory, and he also plays trombone in the Southwest Symphony and the Rebel Jazz Band. When it comes to preparing for classes, Dr. Francis follows a technique called “Just in Time” teaching.
Prof. Jay Sneddon, Instructor of the Practice in Information Technology, has been at Utah Tech University (UT) for 6 years. Professor Sneddon believes in doing as much hands on work as possible when it comes to teaching, and he uses this belief to further active learning in his classroom.