Written by Katie Shpak, University Writer
Faculty Spotlight: Faculty Impact Award Recipient Heather Riffle
Teaching is a special profession that encompasses the ability to impact many lives through the power of education. Last year, Post University established the Faculty Impact Award to highlight some of our most outstanding professors. Each award recipient, who is selected at the end of each eight-week online term or sixteen-week campus semester, is determined by student nominations.
“The Faculty Impact Award recognizes members of the Post University faculty that reach beyond the standard expectations for online and/or main campus instructors. These faculty members are a true testament to the Post University values and make it personal by forging a strong connection and relationship with students, providing outstanding educational guidance based on field expertise, and inspiring students to become the best version of themselves.”
The Term 4 Faculty Impact Award Recipient is Associate Faculty Heather Riffle, who teaches computer information classes, specifically, the intro to computing course. Riffle demonstrates the epitome of impactful teaching. Though her teaching profession began twenty years ago, she only recently started teaching at Post in May of 2020.
In a brief timeframe, Riffle has won the hearts of many students, exemplifying that length of time does not generate an impact. Rather, impact is created from the depth of care given to the relationships with each individual student. Because Riffle teaches an introductory course to freshmen, her level of impact becomes significantly more vital. Seizing the attention and engagement of students at the beginning of their college experience is an imperative step towards each student’s educational success.
“Students also come to the classroom with their own personal life, and work events that play into their daily interactions,” said Riffle. “As an instructor, I need to be encouraging and keep the students motivated to continue on no matter what life has thrown at them!”
Like most of our online instructors, Riffle teaches individuals of various ages. Some students recently graduated high school while others are full-time working spouses with children. Riffle always strives to understand the unique situation of each student, which has given them the motivation they needed to achieve in the course. It is also one of the many reasons her students nominated her for this award.
“She goes above and beyond to help students,” said Program Chair of Computer Information Systems Angela Scipio. “She is one of those instructors who is able to meet students where they are and continually guides them. She is very deserving of this award. As the Program Chair of the Computer Information Systems Department, I am able to see the impact that she makes upon her students. Congratulations to Heather!”
Post University is grateful to have exemplary instructors like Riffle cheering on our students each step of the way. At Post, it is more than teaching students, it’s supporting and guiding them.
“I want to send a special thank you to Dustin (Associate Program Chair, CIS) and Angela (Program Chair, CIS) for the opportunity to teach at Post University and to have their constant support, especially since I reside in Ohio,” said Riffle.
Riffle shares that she was surprised to earn the award having only been at Post for such a brief timeframe, but that she is beyond touched by her student nominations.
“I really just want to see my students succeed,” said Riffle. “That’s what matters.”
We will continue the celebration of our impactful faculty members in May 2021, when the next Faculty Impact Award recipient for Term 5 will be announced.