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(BOCA RATON, Fla. – Feb. 9, 2018) Dr. Chasity O’Malley, a Palm Beach State College science professor and department chair with a knack for infusing technology into her classes, has been selected the 2018 winner of the HAPS-Thieme Excellence in Teaching Award.
The 1,700-member Human Anatomy and Physiology Society presents the annual award in partnership with Thieme, a leading science textbook publisher. It comes with a $1,500 honorarium, as well as a waiver of registration fees and an opportunity to present an excellence in teaching workshop at the society’s annual conference May 26-30 in Columbus, Ohio.
“This is certainly the largest award we give in terms of dollar value, but it’s also one of our most prestigious awards,’’ said Don Kelly, president emeritus of HAPS and chair of the organization’s Grants and Scholarship Committee. “We are proud to honor Professor O’Malley with the 2018 award and look forward to her lecture.”
The organization picked O’Malley from numerous nominees throughout the country because of her contributions to the College and her diligence in ensuring students learn with the latest technology. She has incorporated technology into her online, hybrid and face-to-face anatomy, physiology and biology classes to enhance student learning. She also helped spearhead the design and implementation of the new Technology in Anatomy and Physiology (TAP) Lab at the Boca Raton campus, which opened last fall. The additional lab allows the campus to serve more students with the latest technology. The TAP Lab’s high-tech features include z-Space virtual reality technology, which provides three-dimensional views of the human body; Creston touchpad technology for control of the presentation tools and Clarus glassboards, a new kind of whiteboard. O’Malley also redeveloped the curriculum for the labs and provided adjuncts with template courses, creating a common ground for teaching the materials. She also lead adjunct instructors with training videos she created on how to implement technology into the classroom.
“The workplace now has so much emphasis on technology that if our students aren’t familiar with it they will be behind. We want our students to be ahead,’’ she said.
O’Malley said she is excited to receive the award and looks forward to attending the conference. Her workshop titled “Lessons from the Three Little Pigs: Making Technology Your Brick” will focus on how she uses technology across all of her course platforms.
“I’m very honored because I know it’s a competitive award. It’s nice to be recognized for all the hard work that I do. I put a lot of time and effort into my classes, and it’s nice to be recognized.”
An Ohio native, O’Malley began teaching at Palm Beach State in 2014. Prior to then, she taught at Wilmington College, a private liberal arts institution. She also has worked as an adjunct instructor at Delgado Community College after pursuing her Ph.D. in molecular biology from Tulane University.
In her award nomination letter, Dr. Tunjarnika Coleman-Ferrell, dean of academic affairs at the Boca Raton campus, said, “from the moment she arrived to Palm Beach State College, she has hit the ground running as a rising star on our faculty team. Her teaching evaluations consistently reflect that she has an excellent rapport with students.”
Serving 49,000 students annually, Palm Beach State College is the largest institution of higher education in Palm Beach County, providing bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, professional certificates, career training and lifelong learning. Established in 1933 as Florida's first public community college, Palm Beach State offers more than 130 programs of study at locations in Lake Worth, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, Belle Glade and Loxahatchee Groves.