Cynthia Paschal wins Ingalls teaching award at spring assembly

Associate Dean Cynthia Paschal was recognized by Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos for her achievements in teaching both inside and outside the classroom at Vanderbilt’s Spring Faculty Assembly March 31.

Cynthia Paschal

Paschal received the Ellen Gregg Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching, which includes a cash prize and an engraved pewter Washington Camp Cup. The award was endowed by the Ingalls Foundation of Birmingham, Alabama in 1965.

This award is determined by the chancellor based on nominations from students.

Students rate a nominee according to concern for an individual student’s learning, the organization and engagement of classroom presentation, the clarity and fairness of criteria for awarding grades, and accessibility and helpfulness outside of class.

“When asked to create a distinctive, engaging experience that could be an exemplar for undergraduate education at Vanderbilt, Cynthia responded by developing a service learning course and corresponding trip to Guatemala with students devoting their spring break to work alongside faculty to improve medical instrumentation,” Zeppos said.

“Students commented that they learned more about circuits and devices in Guatemala than they ever would in a classroom, and they praised the experience for giving them a sense of gratitude and an increased philanthropic vision,” he said.

Paschal, an associate professor of biomedical engineering, has continued to teach classes after her appointment in 2010 as associate dean in the School of Engineering.

Her responsibilities as associate dean include corporate outreach, study abroad and coordination of international activities for the dean’s office; Center for Student Professional Development liaison; course director for the new academic component of summer internships; and working with the School of Engineering’s Board of Visitors.

In 2008 she created biomedical engineering service-learning and leadership course. The students’ service learning projects are designed to fit problems in Central America, and the students travel to Guatemala during spring break to work in clinics and hospitals.

She served in 2009-2010 as chair of Vanderbilt’s Faculty Senate, the representative and legislative body for the university’s faculty.

Paschal has been a member of the School of Engineering since 1992. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biomedical engineering from MIT, and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Case Western Reserve University.

Brenda Ellis, (615) 343-6314
Twitter @VUEngineering