Professor's passion helps to build students' overall experience

October 17, 2019

Headshot of John Greenleaf

Professor John Greenleaf continuously works to build upon the Quinnipiac experience for his students.

“Because of my passion for teaching, Quinnipiac was a natural choice to call my home,” said Greenleaf, associate professor of civil engineering and director of the civil engineering program.

He helped to make Quinnipiac feel like home for many of his students throughout his six years at the university.

“As a prospective student, I missed Admitted Student Days, but I wanted to see the School of Engineering one more time before I finalized my decision,” said Michael Neumann ’22. “Professor Greenleaf offered to give me a personal tour to show me everything the school had to offer. It’s clear he cares about all students — prospective and current.”

For his tireless efforts, Greenleaf will be recognized with Quinnipiac's Center for Excellence in Teaching Award on October 17.

“I work hard to build rapport with my students and develop a classroom atmosphere that is inclusive, welcoming and safe,” said Greenleaf. “My teaching style and content are developed to accommodate the multitude of learning styles and the diverse body of students the populate the classes.”

Whether it's in the classroom or while leading the Quinnipiac chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Greenleaf's emphasis on hands-on learning and student engagement do not go unnoticed.

“He makes classes more interesting and always makes his students the priority,” said Jimmy Mazich ’20. “He's always willing to talk — which is one of the most important qualities students can find in a professor.”

Lynn Byers, professor of mechanical engineering, chair of the engineering department and previous Center for Excellence honoree, said that Greenleaf challenges his students and forces them to think deeply course concepts and about their roles as future professionals.

“John is a superb teacher,” said Byers. “His classes are consistently characterized by innovative instructional design, ingenious use of demonstrations, high-quality laboratory experiences, masterful delivery and a consistent orientation toward professional practice – with the perfect amount of enthusiasm and humor.”

Greenleaf brings the material to life — transforms complex theory into practical, easy-to-understand concepts.

“I seek transformative experiences for my students and use my teaching to facilitate this change,” said Greenleaf. “My approach to teaching is simple: provide a high-quality and interactive experience coupled with mentored experiential learning.”

Greenleaf defined mentored experiential learning as contact time with students in excess of lectures. This time can be in the classroom, laboratory or field – wherever appropriate.

Greenleaf described his colleagues as some of the most innovative, passionate and dedicated professionals with whom he could ever dream of collaborating.

"To be recognized among this crowded field of professionals is one of the best moments of my career," Greenleaf said. "I see this as a wonderful validation of the work that both my colleagues and I have been trying to do in the School of Engineering — provide an educational experience for our students that is nothing short of transformational."

Center for Excellence in Teaching and Service to Students

School of Engineering

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