Mention daily assignments and some college students might groan—not so for students in Pareena Lawrence’s economics courses. Their appreciative thanks for her unique teaching style, which includes daily assignments at the end of each lecture period, and accolades from her colleagues earned Lawrence the honor of receiving the UMMAA Teaching Award.
Lawrence holds fast to three basic teaching principles: treat students as active partners in the learning process; communicate high academic and personal expectations for students; model and teach critical thinking skills. The group exercises she assigns to reinforce each day’s lecture materials illustrate these tenets. Problem solving, discussions, simulations, and service learning activities provide immediate opportunities to reinforce and to apply concepts presented in lecture.
“While these exercises are instrumental in learning the material,” notes Joshua Hilman ’00, Benfield, Inc. senior analyst,“they also force students to critically think and develop analytical skills. These abilities that were developed in her classes are the driving factors in my success in the work place since graduation.”
Lawrence began her Morris career in 1994 after completing a doctorate in economics at Purdue University in 1993. She earned a master of science in economics at Purdue University in 1990 and a master of arts in economics in 1989 at the University of Delhi in Delhi, India, where she also completed her undergraduate degree in 1987.
(From the 2005 news story)