Note: Digital photograph available
Rick Cliver of Churchville has been selected a recipient of the Richard and Virginia Eisenhart Provostís Award for Excellence in Teaching from Rochester Institute of Technology. The award recognizes a faculty member with three years or less teaching experience who has made a distinct difference in the climate of the university in classroom teaching, campus leadership, and pioneering teaching methodology, creative course development or instructional support.
Cliver, assistant professor of electrical engineering technology in RITís College of Applied Science and Technology, emphasizes student participation. "Student involvement transforms a lecture into a learning environment." he says.
Outside the classroom, Cliver offers students social and spiritual sustenance. He encourages students through weekly "transistor parties"ótutoring sessions he hosts on Sunday evenings at Victory Baptist Church in Henrietta. Students of all faiths are welcome and have the opportunity to visit with students from other Rochester-area colleges during a college-group social hour.
Last month, Cliver and his wife, Lora, served a full-course ham and turkey dinner to students who couldnít make it home for Easter. During finals week, the couple will host a bonfire for students at their Churchville home. Lora, who works part time for RIT, bakes cookies and other goodies for her husbandís students once a week.
Teaching at RIT, Cliver says, allows him to bring together family, faith and teaching passions."I can put my whole life together here."
Cliver first came to RIT as an electrical engineering undergraduate student in 1983. After earning his bachelorís degree in 1988, he completed a masterís in electrical engineering at the University of Rochester while working as an electrical engineer at Eastman Kodak Co.ówhere he began three days after RIT graduation and remained until 2000.
From 1988 until 2000, he taught electrical engineering and electrical and computer engineering technology as an adjunct professor at RIT. Cliver won an Excellence in Adjunct Teaching Award in 1998 and is a past nominee for RITís Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching. He joined the RIT faculty full time in 2000. A specialist in analog-, digital- and optoelectronics, he continues to consult for Kodak, experience that he considers invaluable to teaching.
Cliver says he was speechless when Carol Richardson, professor and chair of electrical, computer and telecommunications engineering technology, accompanied by Lora, announced the award in front of one of his classes.
The Dunkirk native ranks family and being father to sons Jim, 15, John, 9, and Drew, 8, as priorities. "Theyíre the hop in my step," he says. Other interests include outdoor activities such as camping and landscaping.
"I love teaching," he adds. "Whatís best for the studentsóthatís where my focus is."
Note: RITís Richard and Virginia Eisenhart Provostís Award for Excellence in Teaching supports undergraduate education by recognizing the importance of quality teaching, supporting faculty who have taught three years or less in their pursuit of excellence in teaching and leadership, nurturing the academic climate that fosters teaching at its best, and enhancing teaching as a profession.
Mr. Eisenhart, trustee emeritus, past chairman of RITís board of trustees and board member since 1972, and Mrs. Eisenhart are also generous supporters of the Eisenhart Memorial Scholarship, the Nathaniel Rochester Society, the Athenaeum and the Kilian J. and Caroline F. Schmitt Interfaith Center.
Cliver will receive the award during RITís academic convocation ceremony, which begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 23.