Receiving NIU’s Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award is an honor, said Department of Management professor Terrence Bishop.
Reading what his students said to nominate him is twice the honor.
“The award is the icing on the cake, but their comments are the cake itself,” Bishop said. “They remind me of why I am here teaching, and it’s gratifying to know I make a difference for them.”
Bishop’s students said he deserves it because he gave value to them before and after graduation.
“He set high expectations for students to be involved both inside and outside of the classroom and incorporated real-life experiences during lectures, so we had a greater understanding how to apply the coursework in the business world,” Laura M. Clark told nominating committee members.
Others applauded his contagious passion for teaching and course material.
“This passion is extremely contagious and makes students excited about learning,” John T. Bruce told committee members. “It is his level of intelligence combined with his aforementioned passion that creates a recipe for success that Dr. Bishop’s past, present, and future students will enjoy for as long as he is in the classroom.”
Reading their statements put Bishop at a loss for words – which he says is rare. Also, it made him realize that he’s accomplishing his goal of making a difference in their academic and professional lives.
“My goal in teaching is to make sure students walk away with something,” he said. “Education should change students. When they enter my classes, I strive to give them value – help them become better professionals, better decision-makers and better people.”
Bishop started teaching at NIU in 1987 after he obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and his master’s degree from NIU.
During his tenure, he has taught such courses as “Human Resource Planning and Staffing,” “Employment Law” and “Human Resources Management.”
“NIU was my first tenure track academic job,” he said. “I love this university because it has a nice balance between teaching and research. Through the years one of the things I’ve learned is that students should have to reach in their learning. If instructors don’t make students reach, then they too often leave here not much different from when they arrived.”
And when they do leave after graduation, many of his students continue to email and call him, he said, and that is the greatest reward.
“I’ve had former students call me and say, ‘In our class you told us about one situation. Well, the other day, a similar situation came up,’ ” he said. “This shows me what they learned made sense in the real world.”
Bishop lives in DeKalb with his wife, Lilli, and sons, Robbie and Mitchell.