Cheryl Neudauer, Biology instructor at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC), was presented with one of the highest educational honors in the state this week: Cheryl was named one of only four Educators of the Year, the highest honor granted by the state-wide Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU).
Cheryl Neudauer came to MCTC in 2003 as an adjunct Biology instructor, and 10 years later teaches both Physiology and Pathophysiology. Cheryl utilizes a “flipped-classroom model” in her classes: students work in groups to tackle the majority of their tasks, and Cheryl steps in to clarify difficult concepts. “These days, students can get almost any information online,” Cheryl said. “I’m trying to show students how they can think critically and utilize the resources they have.” After a few years of teaching, Cheryl turned her lectures and notes into a course outline with exercises and diagrams. “It’s very affordable, and saves my students almost $500 in textbook fees. They can take another three-credit class for that amount, and now they’re focusing on what’s important.”
Among her many accomplishments prior to coming to MCTC, Cheryl taught at a community college in Virginia, performed post-doctoral cancer research and attended graduate school at both the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. “She has created a significant college ‘footprint,’” said MCTC President Phil Davis. “It is hard to imagine a faculty member who has had a greater impact.”
The MnSCU Board of Trustees bestows the Educator of the Year award to acknowledge and reward exceptional professional accomplishment and to encourage ongoing excellence in teaching. The winners were selected from 30 faculty members named Outstanding Educators by the presidents of their respective institutions based on nominations by students, faculty peers or staff. Three MCTC instructors were nominated Outstanding Educators in 2014.
Photo: Cheryl Neudauer (center) works with students in her classroom.