RIT Professor Earns Excellence in Teaching Honor




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Winning an RIT Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching is the kind of feedback that can make a great teacher even better. It lets professors like Peter Hauser, a 2005 award recipient, know they’re on the right track.

“To have a group of administrators, faculty, staff and students evaluate me and tell me that they are pleased with my teaching is very reinforcing,” Hauser says. “The award provides me with some verification that I must be doing something right.”

And by all accounts he is. To excite and involve his students Professor Hauser created the Deaf Studies Laboratory (DSL), an interdisciplinary lab bringing together students and researchers to collect and study data for behavioral studies of the deaf and hard of hearing. Students working at DSL are involved in researching the impact of sign language experience and auditory deprivation on visual perception, identity and mental health as well as the validity of psychological assessment instruments given to deaf and hard of hearing individuals.

Hauser, who has been deaf since age five, also works to emphasize diversity, innovation and experiential learning in his classroom teaching. Most of his classes contain deaf, hard of hearing and hearing students and he uses two interpreters to help him communicate with his students and so they can communicate with each other.

“I try to include everyone,” he says. “I believe this assists them in learning about diversity, various perspectives and real applications of the principles and theories discussed in class.”

The Richmond and Virginia Eisenhart Provost’s Award for Excellence in teaching recognizes faculty members who have taught for three years or less. Applicants are judged on their pursuit of excellence in teaching and leadership, the fostering of a positive academic climate, and the enhancement of teaching as a profession.