Honoring the Best

of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources

Jolyn Wirshing

Jolyn Wirshing

Outstanding Teacher

The Outstanding Teacher Award is given annually to a faculty member with a distinguished record of teaching.

Jolyn Wirshing joined our College’s Department of Nutrition four years ago. Since that time, she has proven to be a major asset to both our undergraduate and graduate nutrition programs. We are fortunate to have her as one of our nutrition faculty and are pleased to recognize her as our Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Jolyn teaches multiple sections of our nutrition class for nonmajors, Nutrition 121, and she manages the class’ laboratory component. The class, offered in person and online, has an annual enrollment of nearly 900 students. It often reaches capacity each semester, with strong student course ratings. During the pandemic, Jolyn effectively transitioned the course to remote instruction, creatively using a variety of tools to keep students engaged and achieving learning outcomes. More recently, she returned to campus to teach the lab to students who wished to complete the experiences in person. It is through this lab component that Jolyn interacts with graduate students who serve as graduate teaching assistants. She invests time in their professional development as they learn how to instruct, evaluate and communicate with students. Jolyn has also generously assisted the two letter-of-appointment faculty who teach the online sections of Nutrition 121, helping to ensure consistency among all sections. Jolyn also teaches two upper-division courses that are required for nutrition majors, Nutrition 370 and Nutrition 470. As the Nutrition 370 instructor, Jolyn has developed and refined additional writing assignments designed to improve the quality of program graduates’ scientific writing. She has also enriched both courses with her experience as a dietetic professional in multiple settings, including acute, long-term and out-patient care. In January of 2021, Jolyn assumed responsibility for the Didactic Program in Dietetics. She has already completed a major assessment of student achievement of learning outcomes from the 2019-2020 academic year and facilitated a meeting of the Dietetic Advisory Board. Lastly, Jolyn continues to serve as the chair of the Department’s Curriculum Committee. In that role, she has led an effort to respond to one recommendation that resulted from the recent NSHE Program Review. In addition, she is helping to develop alternative methods to evaluate teaching effectiveness.

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