Clayton State University Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Mario Norman has won the University’s Student Choice Award for Teacher of the Year for three consecutive years.
So its not surprising that the College of Arts and Sciences at Clayton State recently awarded Norman the Gene Hatfield Teacher of the Year Award for the 2012/2013 academic year.
The Gene Hatfield Teacher of the Year Award recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding faculty members within the College of Arts and Sciences. Now in its fifth year, the annual award is presented to a teacher who displays enthusiasm, creativity, compassion, authority, authenticity, patience, persistence, or humor in their teaching and interactions with students. The Arts & Sciences Teacher of the Year award is made possible by, and is named after, Dr. Eugene Hatfield, long-time (1976–2008) history professor at Clayton State.
“I am both flattered and gracious that my colleagues selected me as the Teacher of the Year and the students have elected me as the Student Choice Teacher of the Year for the third consecutive year,” says Norman, who received his Ph.D. from Tennessee State University in Counseling Psychology.
Having been previously honored three times by the students of Clayton State, Norman was selected for the Hatfield Award by a committee of professors within the College of Arts and Sciences. The chair of that committee, Dr. Eric Bridges, also an associate professor of Psychology, knows Norman well.
”Dr. Norman is truly committed to the students here at Clayton State University and is known as the `professor with a heart of gold,’” says Bridges.
While Norman would clearly be a gifted teacher in any setting, it’s apparent that, with a personal focus on diversity, he’s a great fit for Clayton State.
“It seems that my style of teaching fits very well with Clayton State University,” he says. “I perceive professorship in a multicultural context, which is important in my research interests and my style of teaching. I have found that students enroll in college with diverse abilities, levels of competence, and cultural backgrounds. In this sense, I view education in its personal, social, historical, and political framework; and most importantly, I welcome the class discussions around the `uncomfortable’ and `sensitive’ topics. In that, I believe that active learning is a valuable component to teaching. I use humor and stories about `Little Johnny’ to establish communication while creating a psychologically-safe environment for students to learn.
“My goal is to teach critical thinking skills that are necessary for a well-rounded student to be prepared for an ever-changing society.”
With eight departments, the College of Arts and Sciences is the largest college at Clayton State University, and serves the community through its excellence in teaching, research and creative endeavors. The Gene Hatfield Teacher of the Year Award builds recognition for College of Arts and Sciences teachers who stimulate intellectual curiosity and foster learning that engages students – values identified in the University’s Strategic Plan.