|Heath Diehl (right) accepts the Master Teacher Award from BGSU Provost Ken Borland Jr. as President Carol Cartwright looks on.|
BOWLING GREEN, O.—It is perhaps telling that Dr. Heath Diehl’s academic background is in not only English but more specifically in theater. “At its core, teaching constitutes an act of performance,” the Bowling Green State University faculty member said in his philosophy of teaching statement.
This emphasis on communication, on truly reaching an audience—his students—has earned him the Master Teacher Award, presented by the Student Alumni Connection and chosen by BGSU students. Diehl was honored at the Faculty Awards dinner March 22.
“He’s a really engaging teacher who seems to invite students into the ‘performance’ with him. It’s hard not to want to participate in his class,” said Claire McBroom, a senior from Toledo majoring in English.
An instructor in General Studies Writing and the Honors Program, Diehl brings self-awareness and self-reflection along with a focus on students’ receptivity, level of preparation and interests. Also, he says, listening skills are important to being a teacher.
“As a profession, teaching is about sharing—and not just one-way sharing, either,” he said. “Certainly I share my knowledge and my expertise with my students on a daily basis, but my students also bring different types of knowledge and different fields of expertise to the table when they enroll in my classes and I fully expect them to share that . . . with their peers and me.”
“He is challenging and difficult but incredibly fun and passionate about what he’s doing,” McBroom said. “No matter what a student is researching, whether a play or a book or even an advertisement, he puts a lot of thought and effort into helping you work out your ideas. He sets a high level and a standard of what he expects from you, and there’s a lot of respect there. As seriously as he takes his teaching and learning, he is a lot of fun,” she said.
Diehl shared his own deepest beliefs when he participated in a writing exercise based on the “This I Believe” series on National Public Radio. He and other faculty collaborated with students in the Honors Program on a book of essays. That book, “Vision and Values,” was recently published by Honors.
# # #