CHEYENNE – Laramie County Community College recently announced that Marie Yearling received the college’s WyDEC Innovative Educator of the Year honor.
WyDEC is an advisory committee for the academic vice presidents of the Wyoming Community College Commission, comprised of representatives from the state’s seven community colleges and the University of Wyoming. Originally formed to foster coordination of distance education opportunities across the state, it has recently focused on innovations in teaching and learning.
Yearling was nominated by her LCCC peers, who were encouraged to recognize faculty members who exemplify innovation in teaching from an extensive criteria list.
According to Kari Brown-Herbst, the interim vice president of academic affairs at LCCC, Yearling’s nomination referenced the extensive research opportunities afforded her students, a commitment to embed team-based learning throughout instruction, and a relentless pursuit of understanding successful and researched practices in exemplary undergraduate research experiences.
“In the microbiology classroom, we build diverse learning teams to solve relevant and complex medical problems,” Yearling said in a news release. “I started this approach because it’s known to work for learners from many backgrounds. I now see though that it can be more than a classroom learning style – when we work together to solve problems, we connect our intellect to our community.”
Yearling, who has been with LCCC for seven years, is an instructor of microbiology and laboratory manager at the college. She received her Bachelor of Science in chemistry and biochemistry from Ohio University and her doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from Colorado State University.
With this award comes an invitation to attend the Wyoming Innovations in Learning Conference, where the official award presentation will take place. Additional recognition includes participation in the annual InstructureCon conference next summer, where she will serve on the panel of Wyoming educators as they share perspectives on technology trends in higher education, collaborative opportunities in Wyoming, and the development of soft skills in a technology-rich instructional environment.