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Gill named 'Excellence in Teaching' award winner

  • Wednesday, March 11, 2020
    Dr. Cynthia H. Gill

    Dr. Cynthia H. Gill, an associate professor in UMES' Department of Physical Therapy, will receive an "Excellence in Teaching" award this spring from the University System of Maryland's Board of Regents. 

    The governing board will salute 17 honorees from nine of the system's 12 institutions with 2020 USM Regents' Faculty Awards during a ceremony at Bowie State University May 1. 

    “It's very humbling and gratifying to be recognized for something … I take very seriously and am continuously attempting to improve upon - and have spent the majority of my professional life doing,” Gill said. 

    The awards are the highest honor the system's governing board bestows upon faculty members. Honorees exemplify excellence in five categories: Public Service; Scholarship, Research or Creative Activity; Mentoring; Teaching; and Innovation.

    Gill joined UMES' faculty in 1993, when the last group of UMES graduates at the time could only earn a bachelor's degree and the curriculum was transitioning to graduate-level instruction. Today, UMES offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree to meet professional standards of practice. 

    “Teaching appeals to me … because of the gratification I feel when a student experiences the 'ah-ha' moment,” Gill said. “I believe teaching healthcare professionals is very important because I assume what and how well they learn will impact their future patients.” 

    Nominating committees at each USM institution make recommendations to their respective presidents, who review nominations and supporting material and then forward names to Chancellor Jay A. Perman. The Regents' Faculty Review Committee makes the final recommendations. 

    Gill's nomination described her as someone who “has excelled in the classroom, demonstrating a deep and abiding commitment to rigorous and innovative teaching.” 

    Her primary responsibilities include teaching gross anatomy (advanced human anatomy), analysis of human movement (kinesiology / biomechanics) and medical imaging for physical therapists. 

    Each award carries a $2,000 prize provided jointly by member institutions and the University System of Maryland Foundation.  Perman and Regents' Chair Linda Gooden will present the awards at the next scheduled meeting of the full board. 

    “Faculty are at the very heart of the student learning experience,” Perman said. No one has a deeper impact on what students put into their education and what they get out of it. 

    “And so we're delighted to recognize these faculty members and to thank them for channeling their knowledge and passion every day into making a difference in our students' lives,” he said. 

    The peer recognition at this point in her career, Gill said, deeply moved her. 

    “I feel honored and gratified to be recognized for something I love doing and am continually trying to improve upon,” she said.