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Dartmouth professor named teacher of the year

Nov 25, 2013   |   by Meghan Pierce   |   NH Union Leader

Dartmouth Associate Professor of Engineering Vicki May was named the 2013 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching at an award ceremony in Washington, D.C., last week.

Vicki May
Professor Vicki May

“There’s a consensus among students that Professor May is amazing. She’s one of the best. It’s obvious to anyone that has been in any of her classes,” Dartmouth senior Anne Ressler said.

“We’re just pleased she’s getting the recognition.”

May was not only singled out for her hands-on approach to learning, but also for her efforts to encourage students K through 12th grade to engage with math and science learning though several outreach programs in the Upper Valley community.

There are real world applications for math and science that can be fun and engaging for students, May said Friday.

The world needs more engineers, May said, but more specifically more creative thinkers to solve problems from environmental issues to poverty, she said.

“We need to do science and math at the lower levels so they want to be engineers when they grow up,” she said.

“We need creative problem solvers and designers.”

Whether she is working with students in Haiti to create affordable housing in a hurricane and earthquake prone part of the world, or building a playground locally, May likes to give her students room to innovate, she said.Ressler, an engineering major, worked under May at an engineering summer camp for high school students in which the students tackled projects from building electric guitars to designing skateboards.

“To her credit, she really believes in hands-on learning and that the practical experience will help you learn better,” Ressler said.

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