Director of Duquesne’s Center for Teaching Excellence receives national award at conference


Samantha Zapach | Staff Writer

Recently, Duquesne University’s very own Dr. Laurel Willingham-McLain received a national award for her service in educational development. Willingham-McLain was recognized by the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education with its highest honor.

The award is known as the Bob Pierleoni Spirit of POD Award, which was presented at the POD Network Annual Conference. The award is to recognize long-standing members who have made selfless contributions through their services to not only the organization as a whole, but to the field of educational development in tandem.

Willingham-McLain has been the director of the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) at Duquesne University since 2006. Prior to this, she served as the associate director for the CTE from 1999 to 2005.

The Center for Teaching Excellence is as a resource for faculty who are seeking assistance in various teaching and research techniques for teaching their students here at the university.

As director of the Center for Teaching Excellence, Willingham-McLain consults with faculty members on various teaching techniques and academic career success. She also frequently consults with program directors and department chairs on academic leadership.

“I am blessed beyond measure to be honored by my colleagues in the POD Network. At Duquesne’s CTE, we have benefited in many ways from the professional development opportunities offered by the POD Network,” Willingham-McLain said. “All the CTE programs and services are informed by the research and practices of POD Network colleagues”

Willingham-McLain received her bachelors in French at Asbury College and later received her master and a doctorate in French Linguistics from Indiana University at Bloomington.

Willingham-McLain has also been recognized for a number of publications in academic journals such as ‘College Teaching,’ and has served on many education boards involving higher education and professional development organizations, including Core Committee.

According to the Center for Teaching Excellence’s website, its goal is to “help faculty and TAs excel as teacher-scholars deeply invested in students’ learning.”

The CTE website also offers numerous online workshops and handouts readily available for instructors to utilize.

The Center for Teaching Excellence at Duquesne University is located in Fisher Hall rooms 727 and 730.