Prof hooks Big Fish award for spring

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Jennifer Behney

Jennifer Behney, assistant professor, Foreign Languages, is YSU’s Big Fish award winner for spring semester 2015.

Behney receives $200 to be used toward a student/classroom engagement initiative of her choosing. She also received a certificate signed by President Jim Tressel.

The Big Fish award is given every semester to a faculty member who participates in the Starfish Performance Attendance Survey, which asks faculty to identify students who are struggling in or are not attending class.

“I love using Starfish because I think it sends the message to students that I care whether or not they are coming to class and doing the work,” Behney said. “My end goal in teaching every class is that the students learn at least some of the content. Not some of the students, or the students who are bright enough, or the students who are motivated enough, but all of the students who are registered for the class. I can’t achieve that goal if a student is not coming to class.

“Starfish is an extremely easy, quick, efficient way for me to let any student who is falling behind know that I know and care that they are falling behind, and I want them to get back on board so that I can achieve my goal of being an effective instructor of the content.”

Behney plans to use the award money to produce brochures to encourage students to continue taking Italian courses as a double major or minor, to redesign a bulletin board to encourage more students to take an interest in foreign language education, and to buy some authentic resources such as magazines, books, videos and sports journals in Italian to use in classes for reading and listening activities.