February 2012—Dr. Nancy Rea of the School of Health Sciences is one of two faculty members Walden University honored with its 2012 Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence. Rea was honored for setting an excellent example as a faculty member who supports and encourages faculty development, student success and the mission and vision of Walden.
As the program director for the Ph.D. in Public Health and Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) programs, Rea works diligently to support and encourage a team-oriented environment. “Leaders need to be able to build consensus and adapt to change,” she explains. Her goal is to help her team prepare students at the master’s and doctoral levels.
Rea works with her team to encourage students to persevere, work hard and ask for guidance. “It is important to listen to our students, share our experiences and assist with sensitivity and understanding,” she explains. “My goal is to help students persist in accomplishing their goals.”
Teaching Through Mentorship
Ultimately, Rea’s career is student-centered. “Students look for encouragement, understanding, and recognition for their contributions as scholar-practitioners. Mentoring requires us to give of ourselves and share our experiences,” she says. “It’s gratifying when we see students grow and achieve their goals and give back to make a difference in their communities.”
She also has sage advice for faculty members who have the goal to become mentors. “Students depend on faculty members to provide a quality, meaningful educational experience and to be fully engaged,” she explains. “Show that you care about your students and truly want to see them succeed. Share how you completed your studies along with your accomplishments. Students enjoy hearing stories about how to move forward in their careers and how to succeed in their field.”
But, she says, learning goes both directions. At Walden, she’s participated in university committees to develop quality education experiences. She also finds that her co-workers are always willing to share their experiences and advice to assist her in her own work.
“Walden innately encourages collaboration,” she says. “I serve with a diverse group of administrators, faculty members and staff—but I also learn a great deal from our students who are often already career professionals and colleagues. I take my position very seriously so I can improve my role as an educator and mentor.”
About the Award
The award is bestowed upon Walden faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to the university. It recognizes their leadership and commitment to providing the highest-quality student experience as well as to upholding Walden’s mission of promoting positive social change.
Read more about the Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence and past recipients.