BOONE—Professor Timothy J. Huelsman from Appalachian State University’s Department of Psychology has received an Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Board of Governors of the 17-campus University of North Carolina system.
Huelsman is one of 17 recipients from the system representing an array of academic disciplines. They were nominated by special committees on their home campuses and selected by the Board of Governors Committee on Personnel and Tenure.
Each award winner will receive a commemorative bronze medallion and a $12,500 cash prize. Huelsman’s award will be presented by a Board of Governors member during spring graduation ceremonies for the College of Arts and Sciences.
Huelsman earned his bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. from Saint Louis University. He joined the faculty at Appalachian as an assistant professor in 1997. From 2003 to the present, he has directed the Department of Psychology’s Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Human Resource Management Program.
At Appalachian, he has developed what he calls an inclusive view of teaching that includes classroom instruction, research mentoring, advising, writing and work on curricular issues. Huelsman has taught 14 different courses in his 17 years at Appalachian, including undergraduate and graduate courses.
“I never wanted to be a teacher, but one of my earliest experiences in graduate school changed my mind,” he wrote in his philosophy of teaching. Huelsman was assigned a statistics laboratory as a graduate assistant. While not pleased with the assignment, the professor teaching the class associated with the lab gave Huelsman total autonomy in his work. “He guided me and encouraged me, but he trusted me,” wrote Huelsman, who had had the professor when an undergraduate. “We met regularly and as the semester went on, I needed fewer of his suggestions. Over time I became more comfortable teaching, and by the end of the semester I surprised myself when I requested the same assistantship for the following semester. I have taught almost every semester since that time. I love it.”
Jessica Doll, a former student of Huelsman and now an assistant professor at Radford University, wrote of Huelsman’s skills in the classroom.
“It wasn’t until I took Dr. Huelsman’s undergraduate organizational psychology course that I felt like I had finally found my niche within the discipline of psychology, and college in general,” she wrote. “(He) presented the course material in a way that challenged me to both engage in critical thinking and apply the information learned in his class to real-world problems in a way that I hadn’t experienced in any of my other courses. Throughout our relationship, he has both modeled for and advised me about how to be a professional industrial-organizational psychologist.”
Andrew J. Smith, director of HR Brand Portfolio Management for Marriott International, wrote about his former professor. “To this day Tim is someone who I keep in contact with, who challenges me to think critically about the work I do and how it connects back to the knowledge he imparted to my classmates and me. He’s a brilliant thinker, a great role model, a trustworthy mentor and advisor.”
In 2013, Huelsman was named to the university’s Academy of Outstanding Graduate Mentors. He also was named to the College of Arts and Sciences Academy of Outstanding Teachers in 1999.