McKendree Education Professor Wins Excellence in Teaching Award

Lebanon, Ill. — Dr. Brenda Doll balances high academic expectations of her McKendree University education students with a sense of caring. The director of teacher education is an Emerson Excellence in Teaching honoree for 2013 for her outstanding contributions to the teaching profession and to her students.

Doll prepares McKendree’s teacher candidates both academically and emotionally for the challenges they will face as professional educators. “I need to provide safe learning environments so my students can study, practice and learn to take risks by trying out new and innovative instructional strategies,” she said. “Building trusting relationships with teacher candidates enables us to set the bar high and produce high-quality teachers.”

“She is an organized and purposeful teacher who models the effective instructional methods about which she teaches. She spends countless hours meeting individually with students and resolving issues that arise during field experiences and student teaching,” said Dr. Christine Bahr, provost.

Dr. Tami Eggleston, associate dean, praised Doll’s “extremely high level of commitment, energy, and passion, which are evidenced by comments on her student evaluations. Her rapport with teacher candidates in the classroom, as well as her mentoring of those in field experiences and student teaching, is outstanding. Teacher candidates and supervisors alike describe the support and mentoring they receive from Dr. Doll as exceptional. She has taken student teaching seminars to a higher level by including guest speakers that can discuss interviewing practices, new trends in education and transitioning to the career.”

The associate professor is a leader within the university’s School of Education, assuming considerable responsibility for report writing, curriculum revision and the development of assessments. She co-sponsors the McKendree chapter of the Student Illinois Education Association.

Doll, an O’Fallon resident, joined the McKendree University faculty in 2009. “I chose to teach at McKendree so I could continue to build strong relationships with my teacher candidate students in the same way that I nurtured connections with my elementary students for many years,” she said. The former elementary school teacher taught for 18 years in her hometown of Elkhart, Ill., Katy, Texas and Hampton Roads, Va.

Five McKendree graduates, former or current students are also 2013 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awardees:

    • Deborah (Brandenberger) Brimm ’78,a fifth-grade teacher at Bluffview Elementary School in Dupo
    • Jill Kraft, MAED ’12, a Title 1 reading teacher at Franklin School in Belleville
    • Christy Lutz, MAED ’08,a K-4 teacher at Illini Elementary School in Fairview Heights
    • Crista Schafer, MAED ’14, a speech teacher at Whiteside Middle School in Belleville
    • Rebecca Sedabres ’06, a second-grade teacher at Bernard Long Elementary School in Madison

The awards were presented to 103 St. Louis area educators on Nov. 10 at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton, Mo. They are sponsored annually by Emerson, a global manufacturing and technology company.