The Alumni Association will honor 21 NC State professors this afternoon for their outstanding work in the classroom, in the laboratory and in the field. We talked (via email) with some of the recipients about their work and the keys to being a successful professor.
Today we’re visiting with Michael Dickey, an assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering in the College of Engineering. Dickey is one of seven professors being recognized with Outstanding Teacher Awards.
What is the key to being a successful teacher? I think caring goes a long way. I chose this profession because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of students. On a more pragmatic level, I make a significant effort to create engaging lectures by using active learning principles and by trying to relate material to the diverse interests and learning styles of the students in the class. Finally, I have had very good mentors (including my parents) who have helped me improve as a teacher.
What gives you the greatest satisfaction as a professor? Seeing students succeed and seeing the ‘light bulb’ turn on both give me great satisfaction!