Excellence in Teaching: Jeni Hebert-Beirne
Each year, UIC honors some of its most dedicated and outstanding teachers with the Award for Excellence in Teaching. The winners, who receive a $5,000 salary increase, are selected by past recipients of the award from nominations made by departments and colleges.
Associate Dean for Community Engagement
Community Health Sciences
Years at UIC: 12
What does it mean to win an Excellence in Teaching Award?
My mom was a teacher. I admire good teachers immensely and strive to continue to learn to be a better teacher. This award places me in a community of UIC teachers whose work has been evaluated as excellent. I’m absolutely thrilled to be acknowledged by this award.
What do you teach?
CHSC 584; Community-based participatory research/community organizing; IPHS 401: Determinants of Population Health
How do you engage students in your courses?
By inviting students into ongoing public health research or practice activities as co-leads so they can bring in their expertise/strengths to the work, and aligning assignments with course learning objectives, public health competencies and community partner needs.
What do you enjoy most about teaching at UIC?
The students are brilliant, creative and energized.
What are your research interests?
Community-based participatory research to foster health equity at the neighborhood level by building academic institutional capacity to partner with community leadership. I’m interested in using CBPR to influence the structural drivers that shape social determinants at the neighborhood level (how where you live, work, play and age impact your health).
What is your advice to students considering a teaching career?
Trust and listen to your students; adapt your syllabus as you go along to adjust to student needs, concerns, strengths; expect to make mistakes and learn from them; try new things.