4:21 p.m., Nov. 18, 2010----Mary Ann McLane believes that education is all about empowerment. She teaches by sharing her extensive experience, and she provides her students with passion for the medical technology profession and for lifelong learning. She encourages and challenges the young adults in her classroom and mentors them in her research laboratory.
McLane's dedication was recently recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which selected her as the 2010 Delaware Professor of the Year. McLane was one of more than 300 nominees across the United States.
The awards were announced and celebrated at a luncheon and reception in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Nov. 18.
“I am thrilled for my department, our college, the University, our state, and my profession to win this award,” said McLane, professor of medical technology at the University of Delaware. “As president of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science [ASCLS] in 2009-2010, I worked to 'put a face' on this profession as a critical component of modern health care. My role as a teacher is an important part of that mission -- I want to make this discipline more visible and inspire students to follow careers in clinical laboratory science.”
Many of the students who have worked in McLane's research lab have gone on to complete graduate programs in biochemistry, molecular biology, optometry, physician assistant, and medicine.
McLane provides real-life examples in her lectures and labs to show students the relevance of theory and the transferability of skills, and she offers them real-world experiences outside general course content. For instance, every year, she takes her clinical chemistry honors students to the two-day ASCLS Legislative Symposium in Washington D.C., where they meet legislative aides, share the laboratory community's concerns, and prepare a summary for publication by ASCLS.
McLane has also been an active mentor at all levels from high school students through undergraduates and graduates to junior faculty. Earlier this year, she supervised a high school science fair project on the role of antioxidants in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. She also hosted a biotechnology major from Delaware Technical and Community College in her research lab as part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Bridges to the Baccalaureate Degree Program.
But McLane's teaching impact has gone far beyond her own classroom and lab, as she has published teaching materials used nationally and received requests for her teaching expertise from around the world.
“We're very proud to have one of our professors win this award,” says Kathleen Matt, dean of the College of Health Sciences at UD. “Mary Ann is a terrific teacher, lab professional, and researcher who shares all of her expertise with her students, preparing them for a broad range of career paths.”
McLane, who has taught at UD since 1996, holds a master's degree in medical technology education and a doctorate in physiology, both from Temple University. She recently received the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award from her undergraduate alma mater, Neumann University. Her specialty is clinical chemistry, and her research focuses on melanoma metastasis.
About the awards
The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) is the largest international association of education institutions, serving nearly 3,400 universities, colleges, schools, and related organizations in 59 countries. CASE is the leading resource for professional development, information, and standards in the fields of educational fundraising, communications, marketing and alumni relations.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching was founded in 1905 by Andrew Carnegie “to do all things necessary to encourage, uphold and dignify the profession of teaching.” The foundation is the only advanced-study center for teachers in the world and the third-oldest foundation in the nation. Its nonprofit research activities are conducted by a small group of distinguished scholars.
CASE and the Carnegie Foundation have been partners in offering the U.S. Professors of the Year awards program since 1981. TIAA-CREF, one of America's leading financial services organizations and higher education's premier retirement system, became the principal sponsor for the awards ceremony in 2000. Additional support for the program is received from a number of higher education associations.
Article by Diane Kukich
Photo by Ambre Alexander