Honoree

Janet M. Phillips

AWARDS

Part-Time Teaching Award (2009)
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
School of Nursing

BIOGRAPHY

Janet Phillip's believes her role as an educator is to stay "on the pulse" of her teaching. She keeps tabs on her students' progress with face-to-face and online meetings, and she gathers their opinions on her teaching methods and material. She also raises the intellectual level of her courses by encouraging students to interact and use each other as sources of feedback. She's "always available and in contact with students and very encouraging with student ideas and thoughts," commented one student.

Judith Halstead, executive associate dean for academic affairs, said that Phillips is "a creative and innovative teacher who is dedicated to providing a learning environment conducive to promoting active learning among her students."

Drawing on her 17 years of nursing experience, Phillips strives to make the learning process as learner-centered and relevant to a nursing career as possible. For example, in one of her classes she has students examine and propose solutions to educational problems at the health care facilities where they perform clinical hours. One student created a brochure citing myths and facts about the link between vaccines and autism. In many cases, the institutions implement the proposed solutions and the effects are lasting.

"The impact of these projects is far reaching and provides evidence of exemplary teaching based on research to improve the lives of students, patients, and families in communities," said Pamela R. Jeffries, an associate professor at the IU School of Nursing.

Along with teaching, Phillips is pursuing her doctoral degree in nursing education and has focused her doctoral research, writings and presentations on effective teaching strategies and learning issues in nursing education. She maintains a 3.98 GPA in the doctoral program and has received the Emily Holmquist Doctoral Student Award and the Indiana University Research Incentive Fellowship.

Phillips is a member of seven professional organizations, including Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She has been published in refereed journals and makes presentations around the country. While at Ball State University, she was awarded a $32,000 grant from the Indiana Higher Education Telecommunication Systems to develop a multimedia online course. She also received a prestigious competitive grant from the National League for Nursing to study the adoption of innovative teaching strategies by clinical nurse educators.

"With her focus on creative teaching strategies, her participation in scholarly activities, and her obvious love of teaching, she is an excellent role model for her students," said Halstead. Her students agree, citing her organization, timely feedback and compassion as attributes that contribute to her a success as an educator.

"Ms. Phillips is a very supportive instructor," said one student. "I found her very understanding and flexible with various situations which arose during the semester. She is fair and reasonable. She positively critiques to enhance learning." Another student wrote: "Janet really cares and motivates one to do the best one can do."

"She has high standards of expectations for her students, and provides the supporting environment that enables the students to meet these expectations," wrote Halstead in summing up Phillips' outstanding abilities as a teacher. "She represents IU School of Nursing and IUPUI very well in the community."