Riverland instructor wins state award

Published 9:16 am Monday, April 25, 2011

Riverland Community College Biology Instructor Pamela Anne Tranby was one of the four educators presented with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees’ highest academic honor, Educator of the Year, on Wednesday.

Pamela Tranby

The four honorees were selected from 33 Outstanding Educators nominated by the presidents of their institutions. A panel of judges that included faculty members, presidents, administrators and students reviewed the nominees and recommended the four honorees to the trustees.

“These faculty members demonstrate clear and consistent excellence in serving students and their communities,” said Scott Thiss, chairman of the Board of Trustees, in a news release. “When Minnesotans are enrolling in our colleges and universities in greatly increasing numbers, it’s gratifying to know that faculty like these are preparing them for the future.”

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Reviewers said Tranby uses engaging methods and innovative assignments. She has done the hard work of developing biology labs that work for online classes. She applies both qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate her teaching throughout her courses, not just at the end.

Tranby expects her biology students to be strong critical thinkers. She redesigned and researched the effectiveness of lab skills testing as part of her American Society for Microbiology Scholar in Residence project.

“I am proud that we can highlight the depth of excellence of our faculty with these awards,” said Chancellor James H. McCormick in a release. “The honorees exemplify what we value most in this system — high-quality teaching, service to students and community, and scholarship and professional expertise.”