Charles Ghilani, professor of engineering at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, is one of the 2013 recipients of the Milton S. Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching.
The award recognizes excellence in teaching and student support among tenured faculty who have been employed full time for at least five years with undergraduate teaching as a major portion of their duties. Milton S. Eisenhower, brother of former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, served as president of Penn State from 1950 to 1956.
A faculty member since 1989, Ghilani designed the bachelor's degree in surveying engineering. To address varied learning styles, he often holds problem-solving group sessions in lower-level courses. To help students who have trouble visualizing three-dimensional images by looking at two-dimensional drawings, he created 3D animations of difficult class topics for students to view and manipulate in Angel. For field surveying, he placed QR codes on equipment so students can use their smart phones to access short videos on equipment and software usage.
One student nominator wrote, "I cannot imagine a more thorough, prepared or intelligent professor." Another nominator explained, "Assignments are always challenging, and although students consistently grumble about these assignments, the challenge forces every student to dig a bit deeper, try a bit harder and study a bit longer. In the end, students simply learn more."
Open-invitation Friday breakfasts at a local restaurant for his students are also a Ghilani trademark. However, breakfast comes with two rules: no talking about class, and the students pay the tip.
"What's important to note is that this award is initiated by student nominations," explains Director of Academic Affairs, Dr. Albert Lozano-Nieto. "This award reflects Chuck's commitment to educating and mentoring our students, both in and out of the classroom."
Ghilani, along with the 33 other University-wide employees receiving 2013 Faculty/Staff awards, will be honored at a ceremony Monday, March 25th at the Nittany Lion Inn.
Penn State University is committed to equal opportunity and diversity in both its employees and students.