“I absolutely could not be where I am today without her,” is how one student described Rhonda Nelson’s mentorship and teaching abilities. Yesterday, Nelson, an associate professor in the rehabilitation sciences department, received the 2015 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. The award is bestowed annually on faculty within Temple University “who epitomize the highest levels of sustained teaching excellence in the classroom, in the research laboratory or in the clinical setting.”
Teaching a variety of courses in the therapeutic recreation program, Nelson works with undergraduate and graduate students and has enjoyed mentoring them in their professional development. She was named a founding member of the Provost's Undergraduate Mentors in recognition for her exceptional level of support, energy and commitment to the principals of student mentoring.
“Rhonda is committed to inspiring her students and developing innovative methods for teaching,” said Laura A. Siminoff, dean of the College of Public Health. “She is a true leader in the college.”
In nominating Nelson for the award, there were testimonials from students and faculty members in her support. In one, a student stated that “her mentorship has been one of the most beneficial aspects of my educational and professional careers.” Nelson’s colleagues also commented on her commitment. One noted, “the time and energy Dr. Nelson puts into her classes and students is a true testament to how invested she is in providing a first class education.”
Nelson was also the 2012 recipient of the College of Public Health's Excellence in Teaching Award and has received two Innovation in Teaching Awards for new projects she has developed to enhance student learning.
Five other faculty members received this year’s award. The Lindback Award, funded by the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation of Philadelphia, provides grants to institutions of higher education for the promotion of teaching excellence.