Teaching the teachers

By Website Administrator | Dec 13, 2002

Dr. Cynthia Finelli, director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at (CETL), has been named the Richard L.Terrell Professor for Excellence in Teaching at Kettering University.

Dr. Cynthia Finelli, director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at (CETL), has been named the Richard L.Terrell Professor for Excellence in Teaching at Kettering University.

"This is a wonderful honor," Finelli said. "This show of support indicates the value that Kettering places on my accomplishments as a teacher and an educational scholar. It also recognizes the efforts I have made to help others excel in the classroom."

Finelli will continue both as director of CETL and as an associate professor of Electrical Engineering. The Terrell Professorship will allow her to enhance the programs offered at CETL by establishing new opportunities for faculty to improve their teaching and ways to recognize and reward good teachers.

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost John Lorenz said he has noted changes on campus since CETL opened more than a year ago. "I am impressed with the improvements in teaching and learning that Cindy has facilitated. Her scholarly approach to teaching and her research on engineering education have served as a model for others and are further evidence ofher commitment to excellence in teaching."

The appointment is named for Richard L. Terrell, who became a vice president at General Motors despite not having a college degree and spent his 42-year career helping others obtain a formal education. Terrell joined the Board of Regents at General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) in 1959 and served as its chairman from 1974 to 1978. He continued on the board after GMI became independent and served as the chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1984 until his retirement in1988. He died in December 2000.

Finelli is the founding director of CETL and joined the Kettering faculty in 1992. She earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan. Her technical research interests are in the area of signal processing. In 1998, she received the Kettering Rodes Professorship for her research on the electroretinogram of isolated rat retinas.

She actively pursues educational research, including peer evaluation of teamwork skills, academic integrity of engineering students and assessment of student knowledge. She was a leader in the recent curriculum reform at Kettering, serving as co-chairperson of the Curriculum Reform Task Force for two years and on the Electrical Engineering Curriculum Committee for seven years.

Finelli was named the Kettering/GMI Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 1997.

She and her husband, Mike, have two children, Carmine and Chiara, and reside in Montrose, Mich.

For more on CETL, visit: http://www.kettering.edu/cetl

Written by Patricia Mroczek
(810) 762-9533
pmroczek@kettering.edu