Penn State DuBois Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) Ben Park has received the George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching. Named for the seventh president of Penn State, the University presents the award each year to faculty members who have made substantial efforts to develop excellence in undergraduate teaching.
To be considered for the award, faculty members must have a full-time appointment at Penn State, a tenure-line appointment, undergraduate teaching as a primary responsibility and a minimum of three years undergraduate teaching experience at Penn State.
When discussing his philosophy on teaching, Park believes connecting with students, and showing them how their work will impact others, are keys to success. "Teaching to me involves sharing the joy of learning, and helping students come into contact with new knowledge, understanding and capabilities," he said. "My ultimate desire as a teacher is that my students are awakened by knowledge, to discover who they are and understand what they are capable of doing to improve their own lives and the world in which they live."
In addition to teaching at Penn State DuBois, Park is also the coordinator of the Gerontology Minor Program, the chair of the International Students and Programs Committee, and a member of the Diversity Team. He has conducted extensive research on human behavior, including self-destructive and suicidal behavior. Park's writing has been published in numerous academic publications, and he has given lectures on his research at multiple locations in the United State and Internationally.