Distinguished Teaching Award recipient has 'never-give-up' attitude

Victoria College Math Assistant Professor Brian Hutcheson was recognized by faculty, staff and students with the 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award. The award was presented by David Murphy on behalf of the Victoria College Foundation during the Spring 2015 Commencement Ceremony.

The Distinguished Teaching Award, presented annually by the Victoria College Foundation, honors excellence, promotes effective teaching and recognizes exceptional faculty for their contributions to student learning through classroom teaching.

Award nominees are judged on items such as resumes, student evaluations and letters of recommendation from students, faculty members and others.

“The Victoria College Foundation, through the generous support of the community, is able to support students, faculty and staff through scholarships, grants and awards such as the Distinguished Teaching Award,” said Jennifer Yancey, VC vice president of college advancement and external affairs. “Brian Hutchison embodies the qualities that make him well deserving of this award. We are honored to present him with a medal and monetary award in recognition of his accomplishments.”

Hutcheson, who has taught math classes at VC since spring 2012, said he was happy he won but gave credit to his students for his nomination.

“We all do a very good job and sometimes things just line up in your favor,” Hutcheson said. “It’s a nice honor. Last year, I was on the Distinguished Teaching Award selection committee, so I know it is a very difficult task. I had a number of good students this year who submitted nominations.”

At the beginning of each new semester, Hutcheson informs his math students that he will be the last one who will give up on them.

“I will call you, bug you, and say ‘where in the heck are you?’” he tells his students. “They know I back them. I have a good rapport with my students. I try to keep that fire lit behind them.”

Sonya Luna, one of Hutcheson’s former students, was impressed with that commitment when she nominated him for the award.

“All three of my math classes in which I had Brian as my professor, I have passed with an ‘A,’” Luna wrote in her recommendation letter. “Brian has been a great mentor and advisor to me. He is very personable and relates well to his students, which helps build confidence in ourselves.”

Another former student, Eric Chance, admired Hutcheson’s never-give-up attitude.

“He gets to your level as a student,” Chance wrote in his recommendation. “He calms you and boosts your morale. He teaches you to have faith in yourself and to know that you can do it.”

In 2014, he was among the first faculty and staff to participate in VC’s Students Engaged in Active Learning (SEAL) Academy, a year-long professional development program to assist faculty with implementing active learning strategies in their courses.

Babette Lowe, dean of VC’s Academic Foundations, worked with Hutcheson for more than three years and cites his “untiring” efforts to make VC math students successful.

“Brian is a very engaging and hands-on individual who spends countless hours of his time working with students and peer-mentors in and out of the classroom,” Lowe said. “He shares his drive with his peer faculty and assists them in their approach to cultivating overall student success.”

Lowe said Hutcheson’s students describe him as a dedicated, energetic and captivating instructor.

“I believe Brian exemplifies the traits that a distinguished teacher and leader should have,” Lowe added.

Photo caption: Pictured from left are: Amy Mundy, Victoria College Foundation executive director; David Murphy, VC Foundation board member; Brian Hutcheson, Distinguished Teaching Award recipient; Dr. Tom Butler, VC president; and Jennifer Yancey, VC vice president of college advancement and external affairs.

Published: Friday, 22 May 2015

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