Dr. Anne Bunnell selected as a recipient of the Board of Governor’s Distinguished Professor of Teaching Award

The Department of Biology is very proud to share the news that Dr. Anne Bunnell, Teaching Assistant Professor, was selected to be a recipient of the Board of Governor’s Distinguished Professor of Teaching Award for 2023/2024 academic year. During Dr. Bunnell’s time at ECU, she has been a critical member of our faculty and has literally been responsible for the instruction of many thousands of students.

Dr. Bunnell’s background involves undergraduate and graduate training in biology and the instruction of biology, and she had already earned many years of valuable teaching experience at middle and high schools before coming to teach at ECU. Her depth of knowledge on matters related to general biology and environmental biology are incredibly strong but what makes her an exceptional teacher is her ability to both convey that knowledge in a way that students understand and help students develop a better understanding of the process of scientific investigation as it pertains to biology.

Aside from knowing the subject matter, some additional reasons why she has such positive impacts on her students include her significant empathy for students, her ability to help students see the connections between the biology she teaches and the everyday life of the student, and her passion for biology and learning.

By instilling a better sense of appreciation for the subject, Dr. Bunnell launches students along a path where they are more open minded to ideas presented to them via the media and have a basis for making informed decisions on matters that can impact their lives based on new information presented to them by the media, politicians, or advocacy groups. Dr. Bunnell can instill this sense of appreciation in her students by not only sharing her excitement about the topic but also by taking the time to get to know students, learning what they like, and putting in extra time to help them learn. Such empathy makes her students want to do better because they see the effort she puts into getting to know them and to teach them.

Instead of taking the easy way out and just lecturing to students and asking them multiple choice questions, she incorporates weekly discussion boards, quizzes, and assignments. This takes substantial effort to both deliver content and perform assessments so regularly and in such a variety of modes on so many students. Dr. Bunnell sees such effort as a critical means to help students learn so she invests in these approaches for the benefit of the students despite the large effort that it requires. Dr. Bunnell is not afraid to take risks and look for new ways to teach when it would help students to learn.

We congratulate Dr. Bunnell on her well-deserved recognition and celebrate her outstanding contributions to our university.

Dr. Anne Bunnell, recipient of the Board of Governor’s Distinguished Professor of Teaching Award for 2023/2024 academic year