Penelope Davies, a mathematics instructor, was awarded a $500 stipend for the Excellence in Curricular Innovation Award. It is one of seven faculty awards given out this school year.
“It was a tremendous gift and so generous of Amarillo College,” Davies said. “I was very astounded and very humbled. It was a huge surprise.”
Davies is using the stipend to advance her teaching and better herself and her way of helping students.
She has been an AC instructor since 2009. She began as a tutor in the Outreach Center and helps advise student tutors. She also became supervisor of the Outreach Center.
Davies has implemented a “get to know you” program in which her students go to 114 Durrett Hall to share hopes and dreams. It is an opportunity to have a one-on-one to see what motivates her students.
The program gives her students a better comfort level so that if any have questions, she can help them personally.
Davies said it helps her discover how to better assist students. She can explain math problems by involving them personally by relating their majors to make math easier to understand.
“Penelope is always searching for innovative ways to change lives as well as improve a student’s personal attitude about learning, and more specifically, learning math,” said Edie Carter, a math professor. “This effort is just one example of who she really is: A wise woman with a kind heart and a genuine and loving spirit.”
Davies, along with Carter and instructor Denise Litherland, helped revise the intermediate algebra program. The instructors all made tweaks and changes to make the online homework run parallel with the focus problems and chapter tests to make things a little easier.
Davies said students are doing well.
“Penelope is an extraordinary teacher,” Carter said. “She is a great team member, a visionary and a well-respected leader.”
Davies said it was an honor to help Dr. Kathryn Wetzel, a professor and math and engineering department chairwoman, with dreams for the Outreach Center. Wetzel said Carter was the pioneer who plowed the ground and laid the foundation for the intermediate algebra program.
“The team made it work,” Davies said. “This award really goes to all the team members: Edie Carter, Denise Litherland, Gale Brewer and Dr. Wetzel – as well as every instructor in the mathematics department.”
Carter said she was greatly humbled and honored to have received the award.
“Penelope is a very humble woman,” Carter said. “She is filled with grace and is so deserving of recognition for her outstanding work.
“When I read the criteria for the award, it described Penelope perfectly. I was so thrilled for her when she was selected.”
Students also are happy for her.
“She really deserves it,” said Dustin Oder, a student from Davies’ Calculus I class. “She usually waits and makes sure that everyone is up to speed before moving on. If you need help, you can usually stop by her office and she will help with any questions you have about homework.”
Carter said AC is blessed to have Davies teaching and working at this institution.
“If you were to ask anyone about Penelope Davies, they would all tell you of her love for teaching and her care and concern for those around her,” Carter said.
“Penelope always gives her best and assists students to reach their full potential.
“Her day-to-day commitment to excellence and her constant positive attitude are uplifting and inspiring to all of those whose lives she touches.”