Eaton is one of six to receive Atherton Award for teaching excellence

Missa Murry Eaton, assistant professor of psychology at Penn State Shenango, along with five other Penn State faculty members, has been honored with the 2010 George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching.

The award, named after Penn State’s seventh president, honors excellence in teaching at the undergraduate level.

Eaton, who came to Penn State in 2004, teaches introductory psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, social psychology, the psychology of gender and a 400-level course on gender for the human development and family studies program.

As a student, Eaton’s favorite instructors were those who both imparted the knowledge of their fields and challenged her to be responsible for her own learning. She strives to bring these qualities to her own teaching and seeks out opportunities to learn new techniques. Currently, she is involved in planning a teaching conference on the Shenango campus focused on the challenges of teaching in the 21-st century classroom.

Eaton applies her research in parent-child relationships to her teaching.

“Just as successful parents provide structure and opportunity for their children while allowing them to explore and discover for themselves,” she explained, she imparts more knowledge when a subject is new and then steps back to allow students to discover their own abilities.

The other five faculty members to be honored with Atherton Awards were Mark Anner, assistant professor of labor studies and employment relations and of political science in the College of the Liberal Arts; Elizabeth Bates, instructor in the School of Nursing, University Park (Hershey campus); Thomas M. Cody, instructor in music theory in the College of Arts and Architecture;  B.C. Ben Park, associate professor of sociology at Penn State DuBois; and Russell Warley, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

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Last Updated April 22, 2010