College of Liberal Arts and Sciences names 2009-2010 Teachers of the Year

NEW PALTZ – The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the State University of New York at New Paltz has selected its full- and part-time 2009-2010 Teachers of the Year.

Reynolds Scott-Childress, an associate professor of History, was named the full-time Teacher of the Year. Joan Perisse was selected as the part-time Teacher of the Year.

Scott-Childress is regarded as a remarkably innovative, demanding teacher who brings American History to life for his students.
“If teaching is about creating the right chemistry in the classroom, Rennie (Reynolds Scott-Childress) is an alchemist who has learned to make gold,” said one member of Scott-Childress’s recently created “Teaching Circle.”

In this “Teaching Circle” five faculty members observe one another in the classroom and discuss topics related to pedagogy.

“His pedagogical approach encouraged – indeed demanded – that [his students] take direct responsibility for their own education and that of their peers,” one peer said.

Joan Perisse is a dedicated teacher of composition.

“She deserves enormous credit for her work over the years with many of our EOP students, and for her highly innovative use of technology,” one peer said.

Perisse is specifically recognized for her work on the “Peer Critiquing Computer Project.” Freshman Composition students at SUNY New Paltz, Marist College and Mount Saint Mary College use the “Peer Critiquing Computer Project” exchange and critique essays via an Internet program called Webboard.

Perisse is also responsible for The College Initiative, a magazine written for and by students at New Paltz and Marist College, where she also teaches.

In honor of their achievements, Scott-Childress and Perisse’s names will be added to the Teacher of the Year plaque located in the Jacobson Faculty Tower lobby. Both recipients will also receive $1,000 to be used for professional development. Also, recipients each year give a talk or lead a workshop on pedagogy for interested faculty in the Teaching and Learning Center.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences hosts the largest and most diverse academic unit at the State University of New York at New Paltz. It is home to 17 departments and programs, primarily in the Humanities and Social Sciences.