The Midland College Teaching Excellence Award for 2014 was given to David Edens, psychology and sociology assistant professor, and Stan Middleton, respiratory care clinical director.
The honor is awarded annually, and it marks their overall excellence and teaching contributions to MC. It is the college’s most prestigious award for faculty and their overall contributions, according to the MC website.
“(The award) is a recognition by my peers at MC,” Edens said.
Edens originally came to Midland to take a job at High Sky Children’s Ranch, he said.
He applied for a teaching position as an adjunct at MC and worked as an adjunct for 19 years.
He took the full-time instructor position 10 years ago, after serving as a full-time employeer at the Permian Basin Community Center for MHMR.
“Sociology is everything in life,” he said. “I like interacting with the kids, being able to see the light bulb come on every once and a while.”
Teaching was a natural extension of his interests, Edens said. He taught at Tarleton State University before coming to Midland.
“It’s neat to see the next generation of students come into my classroom,” he said.
“I’m seeing children of past students and working with past students at MC now. I’ve gotten to see the impact of teaching in the last couple years.”
Edens is the faculty adviser of the MC Amtgard club.
Middleton is equally grateful for the award. “I pretty much keep to myself over here; I am not really aggressive in promotions or public speaking,” Middleton said.
“I was very surprised and it makes me want to do better.”
Hired as clinical director in 1995, Middleton has been at MC for 19 years, he said.
He runs the clinical section of respiratory care at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa.
“My goal is to be a hands-off instructor, Middleton said. “You have to understand, I have to take individuals who have no medical background at all, and at the end of one year, they need to be competent in ICU. The only way to do that is to let them do things themselves. It took me a long time to figure this out— to learn that they can do it.”
The academic world is different than when Middleton was hired, he said. The needs of the students are now the focus, and it’s understood that academic prowess doesn’t always translate to real life skills.
“Technology has a place in the classroom, and videos, slideshows with music and question-and-answer sessions with an online polling website make classes more diverse than sitting in class for hours,” Middleton said.