Champlin Receives Chairs’ Faculty Teaching Award at Pitt-Bradford

BRADFORD, Pa. – Isabelle Champlin, assistant professor of anthropology, has received the 2011 Chairs’ Faculty Teaching Award for excellence in teaching at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

“Professor Champlin has not only consistently provided our students with quality teaching in the classroom, … she has especially worked to expand the opportunities for our students in the areas of field research, independent study, and study and travel abroad,” said Dr. Stephen Robar, associate professor of political science, who nominated Champlin.

Champlin was chosen for the award by the chairmen and chairwomen of Pitt-Bradford’s five academic divisions.

In choosing an award recipient, the chairpersons reviewed letters of recommendation, student evaluations of teaching, syllabi and grade distribution. They also considered the teachers’ knowledge of subject matter and their advising and dedication in working with students beyond the classroom in such activities as internships and research projects.

The award, which is now in its 10th year, is open to any full-time faculty member who has taught at Pitt-Bradford for at least the last three consecutive academic years.

Champlin more than fit the bill, having taught at Pitt-Bradford for 40 years, serving as director of the international studies program and being a favorite professor among students.

Kaitlin Zapel, a human relations major from Bradford, traveled to Mexico last month on Champlin’s annual trip to Maya ruins.

“It was amazing to see her energy and passion outside of the classroom,” she said. “She has such a zeal for life and throws herself into everything she does. These characteristics leave a lasting, positive impression and make her a favorite everywhere she goes – whether it be in the classroom with her students or in the field with Maya experts.”

In addition to her annual Spring Break trip to the Maya ruins, Champlin has accompanied students to Japan and has helped them uncover artifacts at archaeological sites in the Allegheny National Forest.

In 2002, Pitt-Bradford received a National Award for Excellence from the U.S. Forest Service for work Champlin did to contribute to the “Windows of the Past Program,” undertaking archaeological digs with both university and grade-school students in the national forest at the Red Bridge Civilian Conservation Corps camp.

She has also encouraged and accompanied students to present research at the Penn-York Undergraduate Research Association, the Northeastern Anthropological Association, the Pennsylvania Council of International Education and the International Association of Asian Studies.

Champlin is one of the few faculty members who was a student at Pitt-Bradford before becoming a professor. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from George Washington University.

In the community, she is a member of the Bradford Landmark Society and the Potter County Historical Association and has served on the board of the Penn-Bradford Historical Oil Well Museum and the American Association of University Women.

In 2005, she received the Pitt-Bradford Alumni Association’s Teaching Excellence Award, and in 2009, she was recognized by the YWCA of Bradford with its Outstanding Leader Award.

Past recipients of the Chairs’ Faculty Teaching Award are Dr. Hashim Yousif, Dr. Jean Truman, Andrea Robbins, Dr. Helene Lawson, Dr. Joanne Burgert, Dr. Nancy McCabe, Donald Lewicki, Dr. Donald Ulin and Dr. Lauren Yaich.

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