Dr. Victoria Hedderick, professor in Edinboro University’s Nursing Department, was recognized as the 2020 Faculty Member of the Year.
The annual award honors a tenured professor who demonstrates outstanding excellence in teaching.
Hedderick, who joined the Edinboro University Nursing faculty in 2003 after more than 20 years in healthcare, said that one of her teaching beliefs is getting to know students on a personal level – to understand their successes and struggles in the classroom.
“The personal touch is not an easy task with large classes. But even in a large class, I strive to emit a sense of approachability to each student by being real and reaching out, sharing a personal side of myself,” said Hedderick, who served as interim president of Edinboro’s branch of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) for 2019-2020. “In class, I frequently share the mistakes and oversight I have made along the way as a nurse, educator, mother and woman, as a means to demonstrate that I am human.”
Edinboro Nursing student Kayla Malone appreciates Hedderick’s preparation and organization when approaching classes. Malone said that her professor considers each student’s unique issues with the material and tailors her instruction to meet these needs.
“Dr. Hedderick is a teacher that will listen to her students and help them with problems that don't just include her classroom studies,” said Malone, who nominated Hedderick for the award. “If I ever need to talk to someone about anything she's always there.”
Prior to her arrival at Edinboro, Hedderick held various positions including bedside nurse in critical care, consultant and manager. While at Edinboro, she has served in many roles in the Nursing Department such as the NCLEX Success Chair, assistant chairperson and acting chairperson.
Her clinical expertise in the area of critical care nursing informs the courses she teaches that span all levels of the curriculum. This includes Fundamentals in Nursing to sophomores, Pharmacology to juniors and Adult Health II to seniors.
Students describe her as very animated, interesting and full of stories that relate to the course content. It is that engaging teaching style that led her to winning the 2015 Elsevier Leading Star in Education – a national award to recognize active learning in the classroom. She has completed dozens of book reviews for nursing and her research interests include anything that focuses on student success in the classroom and on NCLEX.
“Like most faculty, I incorporate a variety of strategies to keep the mind and or body active in class through case studies, creative assignments, flipping the classroom, gaming and a myriad of methods,” Hedderick outlined in her Personal Teaching Philosophy. “Keeping students engaged when out of the classroom is likewise vital and challenging.”
Hedderick is an active member in the Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society holding officer roles of president, counselor and delegate for the Edinboro Chapter – Nu Theta.