Classroom a place for real-world learning
Since 1966, the Silver Circle Award has been presented to some of UIC’s best teachers. Winners, who are honored at their college commencements, receive $500 and their names join a long list of distinguished colleagues. But what makes the award especially meaningful is its selection committee: the graduating seniors.
The satisfaction of positive feedback from students makes teaching worthwhile for Renata Tarasievich, who mixes case studies, discussions and student presentations with instruction to transform her classes into learning laboratories.
“They appreciate the real world aspect of many of our topics and they benefit from that. In many cases, the benefit is for years down the road,” says Tarasievich, lecturer in managerial studies.
In addition to courses in organizational theory and organizational behavior, she teaches Family Business Management, Human Resource Management and Managerial Effectiveness Through Diversity.
“I think the more relatable I can make a topic, the more likely a student will be to understand the material and be able to apply it in their careers,” she says.
The work ethic of UIC students impresses and inspires Tarasievich.
“I mean that figuratively and literally,” she says. “Many of our students worked or work full time. They are able to apply what we talk about later that same day in some cases. They also see — first-hand at their workplaces — how beneficial a college degree is, and that motivates them.”
Tarasievich, who joined the business faculty in 2004, believes what students learn in the classroom is only part of their work.
“Sometimes it is about the process as much as the results,” she says. “The college diploma itself is of course significant, but what you learned and gained along the way is substantial as well. I gain tremendous insight in preparing for my classes and the process of preparing makes my results, I hope, that much more meaningful.”
Winning her third Silver Circle Award is a memorable moment in her career, Tarasievich says.
“I am humbled to be recognized by my students. It is my great honor to be able to teach them and I always am grateful for how appreciative they are of the work I do.”