Center for Excellence Honoree: Lisa Kaplan

Lisa KaplanLisa Kaplan prepares students to succeed under pressure and to never doubt their abilities.

Kaplan, associate professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been recognized for her efforts with the University's most prestigious academic honor, the Excellence in Teaching Award. She was honored at the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Service to Students Ceremony on Oct. 13 in the Recreation Center on the Mount Carmel Campus.

"She is willing to put as much of her time and effort as it takes to help students, both as a class and individually," wrote junior Chelsea Byrd to the nominating committee. "She taught me that nothing is out of reach and to never doubt myself."

Hans Bergmann, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said he cannot think of a faculty member more deserving of the recognition.

"Lisa embodies the College of Arts and Sciences' goal to be a distinctive and distinguished learning community," he said. "She is an incredibly energetic and enthusiastic teacher and researcher."

Kaplan's energy is addictive, Bergmann said.

"She is sure that education is the most exciting thing on earth and wants you to share that certainty with her," he said. "Her personality is large and generous. She takes on many students for independent undergraduate research and every one of them loves the experience and learns."

The fact that a group of her peers and university students selected her for the award gives it added significance, said Kaplan, a six-year veteran of Quinnipiac.

"It's an honor in the truest sense of the word, and there is a significance that comes from it," she said. "I respect my colleagues and find them to be a great joy to work with and a great source of information and ideas. For those people to think that I did a good job makes me feel like I did a good job."

The best part of her job, she said, is working with her students.

"I have been very blessed in that I have always enjoyed working with students," Kaplan said. "The student body here is very earnest, hard-working and inquisitive."

She said she tries to give each student a broad picture of the topic at hand and then the details to place in that context

However, her students said they are the fortunate ones to be learning from her.

"As a professor, she is one of the most intelligent people I have ever met," said senior Matt Stark. "Her classes are challenging, but very fair, and she does an amazing job at organizing her classes and notes to make them presentable to her students."

However, Stark said she is so much more than that.

"Dr. K truly exemplifies excellence as a person," he said. "She is extremely personable and easy to talk to. To put it simply, Dr. K is one of those people who you can meet for five minutes and instantly understand how great she is. I can't give her enough praise as both a scholar and as a human being."

In addition to Kaplan, the following individuals will be recognized at the awards dinner: Dwayne Boucaud, associate professor of biomedical sciences in the School of Health Sciences; Lisa Delaney, staff nurse in the Health and Wellness Center; Jill Ferrall, assistant dean for career development, School of Business; Kathleen Simione, associate professor of accounting in the School of Business; and Linda Sink, payroll manager in human resources.

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