World Campus instructor to receive award for excellence in online teaching

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s School of Labor and Employment Relations (LER) has named Mark Schnurman, a World Campus instructor who teaches labor and employment relations, the recipient of the school’s annual online teaching award. 

The Kelley-Willits Award for Excellence in Online Teaching is awarded annually to an instructor in Penn State’s labor and employment relations/human resources and employment relations online programs who demonstrates exceptional teaching ability, concern for students and commitment to the school’s mission of preparing practitioners for careers. The recipient is chosen based on student evaluations and comments.

Schnurman will receive the award at the semiannual meeting of the LER alumni program group on campus Nov. 14.

“Coaching, mentoring, training and development are at the core of my career,” said Schnurman, who lives in New Jersey and works as the chief sales officer for a commercial real estate firm. “Online education is another way that I can help people grow, and I am very honored that the faculty in labor and employment relations have recognized me for that.”

Schnurman graduated from Penn State in 1990 with a bachelor of arts in labor studies. He has taught courses in the master of professional studies in human resources and employment relations program, and the undergraduate online program since 2009, and currently teaches a seminar in human resources.

Paul Clark, a professor and director of the Penn State School of Labor and Employment Relation, said Schnurman engages students in his online classes. “Given that the courses are online and not met in person it is important for instructors to be accessible and show interest in their students, which Mark does exceptionally well,” Clark said.

Schnurman invites students to connect on LinkedIn and reviews resumes to help with career development. “I look at student’s online profiles and resumes, and tell them how they can improve so that they are marketable to employers and can land their dream job,” Schnurman said.

The award honors Ed Kelley and Billie Willits' contributions to Penn State’s School of Labor and Employment Relations. Kelley and Willits taught in the school’s residential program and were among the first faculty to develop core courses when the LER online degree program was initiated.

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Last Updated January 09, 2015