EKU Online Psychology Professor Receives Prestigious Acorn Award

Dr. Matt Winslow

For Dr. Matt Winslow, being a great educator is more than just giving his students information. It’s about teaching them how to think. It is because of Winslow’s ability to actively engage students in the learning process that the Eastern Kentucky University psychology professor has received the 2017 Acorn Award, the highest honor for teaching excellence presented by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and co-sponsored by Kentucky colleges and universities.

He was selected over all his peers at four-year colleges and universities throughout the Commonwealth. Winslow is the fifth EKU recipient of the award since 1995, the most of any institution in that period.           

Winslow’s path to this award started five years ago, when he began moving away from a passive lecture style to a format where his students are active participants in the process. It’s when he became, as he put it, less of a “sage on the stage” and more of a “guide on the side.”

Winslow, a two-time Critical Thinking Teacher of the Year honoree at EKU, sees his role as a facilitator of learning and a designer of effective learning experiences. As such, he has “flipped” most of his courses, requiring students to access the knowledge base for the class on their own time, and engage with that knowledge during class, rather than listening to classroom lectures and then working on assignments on their own.

Dr. Robert Brubaker, chair of EKU’s Department of Psychology, called Winslow “one of the best, if not the best” teachers he has encountered in his 34-year career. “His enthusiasm and expertise have really energized his colleagues and fostered a strong departmental culture of continuous improvement in teaching.”

In fact, Winslow plans to donate a portion of the financial honorarium that accompanies the award to the department to support the pedagogical development of its faculty.

The Acorn Award is presented to outstanding faculty members at Kentucky’s colleges and universities. The award, which recognizes and rewards exceptional teaching, is presented at the Governor’s Conference on Postsecondary Education Trusteeship.

Published on September 22, 2017