Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
PORTALES — The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education have named Dr. Dale Davis, professor of marketing at Eastern New Mexico University, the 2004 New Mexico Professor of the Year.
Davis traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend an awards luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 18, in honor of all state winners, as well as an evening reception on Capitol Hill.
"I'm overwhelmed. Winning never entered my mind," said Davis. "Every school has many fine professors, and I feel very honored to be in such good company.
"It's always gratifying to be recognized for what you are trying to do-be a good teacher and role model. It reinforces that I am doing something right, and that my teaching methods are working."
The U.S. Professors of the Year program, created in 1981, is the only national initiative specifically designed to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring. Professors are nominated by campus presidents, provosts and academic vice presidents. Current and former students, colleagues, and peers from other institutions send letters of support. Nomination materials include the professors' teaching logs and course descriptions, as well as personal statements describing their teaching and mentoring techniques, courses or curricula they created, or their impact on teaching on their campuses and beyond.
Davis, who received a 1980 Doctor of Business Administration from Georgia State University, has been at Eastern since 1982 when he came from Kennesaw College in Georgia as an assistant professor of marketing. During his years at Eastern, he has also served as dean of the College of Business from 1990-93.
He received a 1970 bachelor of science from Berry College in Georgia, and a 1973 master of business administration degree from Georgia State University. Retired as a Marine Corps officer, he graduated from the Department of Defense Computer Institute in 1967, and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in 1966.
Davis feels that he brings a lot of experience outside of academia to the classroom. "I have experience as a military and business leader," said Davis, who taught at and was the chief business officer for the Berry College system. "I understand the principles of leadership, and that you are responsible for those in your charge. I take that very seriously."
Davis, who teaches such courses as organizational behavior, international marketing, principles of management, evolution of economic thought, etc., says that students have to be treated as individuals. "Students need to grasp the material, but not everyone learns in the same ways. That is why I have an open-door policy. Some students do not want to ask questions in front of other students, but they can come to my office anytime and ask me in private."
Davis, who has authored "Aids and the Law of Workplace Discrimination" among numerous other publications, says that he does not have an attendance policy for a reason. "The world is about choices, and choices have consequences. If they do not do well in a course because of their absences, they learn about the consequences of their actions."
A frequent consultant to various businesses and agencies, Davis says that he has a relaxed teaching style, but does have rules. "It's my classroom, and the students may as well get used to rules. For example, there are no caps in class, no cell phones, and I expect them to be on time. If they are late, I expect them to close the door quietly when they come in. It comes down to a simple respect for others.
I believe I'm a role model for my students. My language, standards, demeanor, etc., are examples for my students. I believe in education for the sake of being an educated person-a good job is just a byproduct.
Davis says that ENMU is a perfect example of the "egalitarian impulse. When I was growing up, education was for the wealthy or lucky. But schools like Eastern, which serve first-generation college students and others from unprivileged backgrounds, has been the greatest boost in history to America's leadership in the world."
Other ENMU professors receiving Professor of the Year honors were Dr. Mary Ayala, Spanish professor, in 2002; Dr. Any Sae, chemistry professor in 1998; and Dr. Betty Lyon, mathematics professor, in 1996.