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Faculty Fellows Testimonials

Providing unique and innovative course options is critical for the growth and success of our students and the Honors Foundations Program. Each year, as part of our Faculty Fellows Program, six of West Virginia University's most talented professors and researchers teach special topics courses and share their expertise with Honors College students. Read about there experiences with the program:
Renee Nicholson
WVU Humanities Center
2017-18 Honors College Faculty Fellow

Renee Nicholson

“I have been fortunate enough to be in the first cohort of Faculty Fellows, and then again a few years later, and seeing this program grow makes me feel proud of both experiences. In both cases, I had the opportunity to teach in a hands-on, experiential way, using outside partners and harnessing the creativity of the students. I made valuable connections with amazing colleagues in fields from across the university, and in many cases these relationships continued in various new and exciting contexts. The professional development opportunities also enrich my approaches in the classroom and broaden my thinking about what it means to be a professor. As my roles and responsibilities have grown and changed over the years, I've been able to continue to work in new contexts with the Honors College, which began with that first cohort, and which always brings me joy."

Derek Johnson
Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
2018-19 Honors College Faculty Fellow

Derek Johnson headshot

“I was lucky enough to participate in the second cohort of Honors Faculty Fellows in 2018-2019. This opportunity allowed me to examine my passions on energy literacy and develop a course that addressed issues not adequately covered within current engineering courses. In addition to being exposed to the talented Honors students in engineering, I was also exposed to Honors students from various colleges which enabled me to broaden the societal contexts presented in the course. I have implemented a variety of the topics developed in this course within my conventional engineering courses in hopes of providing a broader and more well-rounded education to my students. Overall, it was a great and inspiring experience."

Steven Frisch
Professor of Biochemistry
School of Medicine
2020-21 Honors College Faculty Fellow

Steven Frisch

“I taught two semesters of a course that I developed called "The Biology of Aging". It was a phenomenal experience for me and the feedback from the students was extremely positive. Although the class had to be taught via zoom due to COVID, there was a great deal of interaction and class discussion. The material itself could be considered at the level of a graduate biology course. Many of the Honors students had little or no biology background. Nevertheless, they made the effort to learn the background concepts and how they were significant to the topic. I assigned them two end-of-term projects, both involving team presentations with powerpoints--and they did an outstanding job. Finally, I would like to point out that the help from the Honors College in providing financial support for expert outside speakers from all over the country, and the Teaching and Learning Commons with regard to educational methodology, were critical to the success of the course."

Andrea Soccorsi
Teaching Instructor, Multidisciplinary Studies
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
2018-19 Honors College Faculty Fellow

Andrea Soccorsi

My year as an Honors Faculty Fellow was truly one of the happiest teaching experiences of my career. Not only was I able to create a course that was truly my very own “passion project,” but I was also able to share my ideas and work with a wonderful group of students who were talented, engaging, and engaged. I also met a wonderful group of faculty whom I would not have gotten to meet otherwise.  Being able to share ideas about pedagogical practices and our approaches to teaching was very enlightening. I had a wonderful time!"