Denison University honored an outstanding professor with the prestigious Charles A. Brickman Teaching Excellence Award at the college’s Academic Awards Convocation held on Friday, April 21, in Swasey Chapel. Rebecca Homan, associate professor of biology, was honored with the 2017 Brickman award, which is given to members of the faculty who are master craftsmen in the profession and models of dedication to students and to student learning. The recipient has demonstrated a vibrant interest in the learning process, as well as an understanding of teaching as a continuously evolving art form.
Speaking of Homan, Denison Provost Kim Coplin noted, “Rebecca Homan is a colleague who teaches across all levels of her discipline and who integrates her scholarly life throughout her courses. She is a noted scholar in her field and is engaged in an extended, evidence-based research project, but finds the most ‘rewarding part of her job’ in helping students reach their individual goals. Rebecca’s teaching is filled with innovative ways to help students identify and pursue those goals, including requiring independent experimental design and research presentation in all of her courses, asking students to engage in varied forms of scientific communication, and acting as an early adopter of the Advising Circle model. Most of all, Rebecca explains that she ‘wears her own passion on her sleeve,’ bringing to life for students the vitality of the study of ecology and the thrilling variation of frog and salamander life in the wetlands.”
Homan joined Denison in 2003. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College and a doctorate from Tufts University. She studies the habitat requirements and long-term population trends of pond-breeding amphibians and is currently working on projects designed to improve our understanding how both adults and juveniles choose among different suitable upland habitats. Homan is the member of several professional societies, including the Society for Conservation Biology, Sigma Xi, the Ecological Society of America, the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists and the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.