The program salutes outstanding undergraduate instructors who excel as teachers and influence the lives and careers of their students, according to Carnegie. The foundation selects one winner from each state and the District of Columbia.
Chew is the third Samford professor to win the annual award since 1994. Carnegie selected business professors Thomas Woolley and Marlene Reed in 2000 and 1994, respectively.
The Carnegie Award is the latest in a series of honors for Chew. He won Samford's top teaching honor, the John H. Buchanan Award for Excellence in Teaching, in 1999, the same year he was named a Carnegie Scholar. In that role, he co-authored the psychology section in the upcoming book, Disciplinary Styles in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: A Conversation, to be published by Carnegie.
Chew has spoken widely on the scholarship of teaching. He delivered the keynote address for the University of Wisconsin System Department Chairs Leadership Institute in 1999 and spoke at the American Association of Higher Education Colloquium on Campus Conversations, the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology and the American Psychological Association.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Texas, Chew holds the Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Minnesota. He taught at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota during 1984-93.
Chew "has helped to invigorate the intellectual life of the faculty," said Dr. Roderick Davis, former dean of Samford's arts and sciences college, by founding the Faculty Shoptalk Series of presentations on current faculty research.
Chew believes good teaching depends on two particular areas-using good examples and helping students to rethink "intuitive but mistaken beliefs" they have developed.
"The quality of examples and how they are used has a major impact on what is learned," said Chew. Part of this is considering what the student audience is familiar with, he said. In the area of correcting misconceptions, he has devised writing assignments, based on actual events, that force students to confront the shortcomings of their own intuitive ideas.
"One example of such a misconception is that psychology is about getting in touch with your feelings," Chew said, "when actually it is about all the factors that contribute to our behavior, from genetics to culture." Another misconception is that people with mental illness are dangerous and violent, when in reality, "the incidence of violence among mentally ill people is no greater than among the general population."
Samford psychology major Estelle McKee praised Chew's teaching and added, "One thing he does is help us to be a bit more skeptical about research results, and therefore, more analytical." She said her exposure to undergraduate research has made her feel "very well equipped in terms of research" as she considers graduate schools.
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