Nancy C. Patterson awarded Professor of Teaching Excellence

Education professor is a staunch advocate for social studies education

nancy pattersonDr. Nancy Patterson has been a staunch advocate for social studies education and has pushed her students to look beyond the classroom and their academic standing and bring into focus the collective benefits they can bring to the world beyond the campus.

Patterson, professor in the College of Education and Human Development, received the 2020 Professor of Teaching Excellence Award from Bowling Green State University.

As a member of the BGSU faculty since 2002, she has served as director of the School of Teaching and Learning and provided direction and leadership to hundreds of students and faculty members, both at the University and across the country. While seeking to constantly improve the middle childhood and young adult education curricula, Patterson has pushed for civic engagement and emphasized the importance of conversation and collaboration.

In her endorsement of Patterson for the Professor of Teaching Excellence honor, her colleague Dr. Joanna Weaver cited Patterson’s vital role as a mentor.

“Over and over again, I hear beautiful stories of her mentorship and teaching. Nancy has influenced so many through her teaching and research,” Weaver said.

Dr. Mark Seals, current director of the School of Teaching and Learning, expressed admiration for Patterson’s role in developing and expanding the curriculum and programs, and for her penchant for going above and beyond customary practices to assist her students.

“She has been instrumental,” Seals said. “Dr. Patterson is consistently praised for the extent to which she models effective teaching, responds and adapts to students’ needs, and provides students with support both in and out of the classroom.”

Her fellow instructors have lauded the rapport she maintains with her students, which allows them to be comfortable interacting in class and hone their teaching skills in an atmosphere where they are relaxed, poised to learn and unafraid to take chances with their thinking and answers.

“She uses a variety of activities to engage her students and have them actively involved in the learning process,” Dr. Sherri L. Horner wrote in her recommendation for Patterson to receive the high honor. “During all of the lessons, there is a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. It is obvious that the students feel safe in taking risks and challenging themselves.”

Seals cited Patterson’s many speaking commitments at professional conferences and meetings, which he said enhances her reputation in the educational field while also elevating the visibility and reputation of the University. He also credited her as being the “cornerstone” of the new Junior block initiative.

“Dr. Patterson consistently advocates for what is best for her students, programs and peers, and places them at the forefront of all that she does, while searching for opportunities that prepare them for the real world of teaching,” Seals said.

Patterson, who holds a doctorate in curriculum and teaching from the University of Arizona, sums up her perspective on teaching this way: “Teaching is all about giving teachers and students, two very special types of citizens, two very important callings: ‘voice’ and ‘choice.’”

She has empowered countless BGSU students while adhering to that mantra in her role as a master educator.