President's Award for Excellence in Teaching
Enthusiasm is Contagious
Kinesiology is the scientific study of human movement, and no one is more enthusiastic about teaching the subject than Eddie Hebert, this year’s recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Hebert began teaching at Southeastern in 1996, received tenure and promotion to associate professor in 2002, and promotion to professor in 2007. Over the years, his teaching responsibilities have included 15 undergraduate courses, three graduate courses, and supervision of student teachers, as well as supervision of many independent study courses. His areas of specialization include motor learning, physical education teacher education, physical fitness, and research methods and statistics.
“I share my enthusiasm for my field with my students. I studied kinesiology because I was interested in it — so much so that I earned three degrees in the subject,” Hebert said. “All faculty teach a subject because they love the content. It’s my job to demonstrate interest and enthusiasm to my students. I want students to know ‘I love this stuff, and it’s interesting to me.’”
Hebert’s SOTs (Student Opinion of Teaching) are consistently above the university, college and department averages. He has excelled in the categories of “quality of instruction,” “contribution to learning,” and “would recommend instructor.”
In addition to his course load, Hebert has served on 18 student thesis committees, chairing three of them. He has received grants ranging from $320 to $92,730 to help with teaching in his department. He has co-authored numerous publications and presentations with his students and, from 1996–2017, he attended six state, 24 national and two international conferences with them.
“Outside of class and even during class, Dr. Hebert mentors students by assisting them with their professional goals and personal endeavors. He clearly loves teaching and is passionate about his field,” said Associate Professor of Nursing Kristin Whitty. “He promotes research forums where faculty and students listen to research that is or has been conducted by faculty and/or students. His various interactions with students show he truly leads by example and is preparing them for the real world.”
Hebert believes that in order to be a good teacher, “you have to want it.” He says knowing the material is not enough; a teacher must know how to “render it understandable to the learner.” He firmly feels preparation makes the difference, and he must be prepared for class if he is to expect the same from his students.
Southeastern graduate student Robert J. LePere said Hebert is thorough and effectively gets the subject matter across to his students by supplementing his lectures with examples and applying course information with real-life scenarios.
“He has a knack of reading the expressions of his students to know when they may be unclear of the material and takes time to insure they understand,” said LePere. “Professionalism, combined with his obvious love for the university, his career and students, is evident when you witness the energy he brings to his classroom.”
Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Health Studies Charlotte Humphries agrees, stating Hebert’s teaching style is distinguished by the fact that his lectures are like storytelling, which immediately makes content more engaging.
“Dr. Hebert relates topics to real-world practices and current events so students understand why they need to know something for future professional practice,” she said. “This causes a high level of student engagement. When I watch the students during his class, they are interested, not merely listening.”
Mary Hannah Tracey is one such student from Hebert’s class.
“Dr. Hebert always has a smile on his face, and it is obvious he loves his job,” she said. “His love and dedication to his job have a strong effect on the teachers and students around him, which contributes to the strength and success of the entire Kinesiology Department.