Sandy Jung receives 2017 Distinguished Teaching Award
Four faculty members received one of MacEwan University’s highest honours in 2017 for outstanding teaching and their commitment to education leadership. Ahna Berikoff, Sandy Jung, Etayankara (Murli) Muralidharan and Lisa Prichard are the most recent Distinguished Teaching Award recipients.
My plan was never to teach. I spent some time at the front of the classroom as a graduate student, but I’ll be honest—I wasn’t very good at it back then.
I think what really changed and transformed me as a teacher was the 10 years I spent as a clinical and forensic psychologist. When I stepped back into the classroom after that, I discovered that many of the skills I used in counselling transferred directly to teaching. It wasn’t that I became a counsellor to my students, but that many of the same principles apply—things like actively listening, really hearing my students, putting myself in their shoes and not jumping to conclusions about what they are asking me.
I really love psychology and I want my students to feel that same passion for the subject, but I also realize that they’re not all going to love every aspect of the material we cover. So I try to focus on finding ways to use the experiences I’ve had as a psychologist to bring the textbook material to life.
My research into sexual offenders often finds its way into the classroom too. It’s important for students to understand that the things they are learning are backed by science. It’s also why every one of my courses includes an assignment that asks students to read research—and to question it. Those are skills that make us all better consumers of information and better citizens. If I can help students take those skills with them and apply them in the outside world, then I’ve done my job.
—Sandy Jung, Associate Professor, Psychology and a 2017 Distinguished Teaching Award recipient
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