Two Creighton University professors have earned top honors at the U.S. Professors of the Year awards.
Gintaras Duda, an associate professor of physics, is one of four people named national professors of the year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Matthew Huss, Creighton professor of psychology, was named Nebraska Professor of the Year.
This is the fourth time the state and a national winner were from the same institution since the awards began more than 30 years ago, according to Creighton.
Duda, who has taught at Creighton for 11 years, was selected from 350 nominees. He said his teaching philosophy is to treat students like adults and focus on skills they'll need in the real world.
“I've always thought the way we teach science is not like the way we practice science,” Duda said.
He rarely lectures and bases his lessons around practical projects and reflective writing.
Though he's gotten some resistance, he said his measures show that students retain more when they're in the driver's seat.
“I've grown into realizing students have to be responsible for their own learning,” Duda said.
Huss' approach in the psychology department is on making sure students leave his classroom respecting that discussions about theories or mental illness are not just academic.
“What I focus on deals with real people and real problems,” Huss said.
Huss, whose specialty is in forensic psychology, said the strictly undergraduate program at Creighton allows him to direct research to students' interests instead of his own.