The Outstanding Lecturer Award recognizes a lecturer for excellence in teaching effectiveness and service to the San Jose State campus community. This year’s winner comes from the College of Science. She will be honored at the 17th Annual Faculty Service Recognition and Awards Luncheon on March 15, 2016. Tickets are available for purchase.
When Stephanie Trewhitt completed her graduate degree, she imagined she would be starting a career as a field researcher. After a faculty mentor invited her to teach a course in her program at San Jose State, she says, “I found a passion to teach.”
“I teach to bring out the best in all of my students.”
“My department has allowed me to have graduate students and has encouraged me to continue my research,” says Trewhitt, ’00 BS, ’02 MS Biological Sciences. “I found that I could teach and keep doing my field research in the summers. It has made my job more satisfying.”
Trewhitt shared her research findings in the Journal of Mammalogy, Western North American Naturalist and at a dozen professional presentations.
After 14 years as a lecturer, Trewhitt says the most meaningful part of her job is teaching undergraduate students to be thoughtful researchers. She takes students through the process of selecting an interesting question, meeting people who work in their areas of interest, analyzing their findings and writing up their results. Through field research, students work with local agencies that need help, such as the federal and state fish and wildlife departments, the local water district or park systems.
“I work to connect students with potential future employers,” she says. “These agencies are underfunded and our students are providing valuable data that the agencies can use for future management.”
Trewhitt and her students have worked in Huddart County Park in San Mateo, Canada de los Osos Ecological Preserve in south Santa Clara County and at Pinnacles National Park in San Benito County, primarily on projects that collect data on small mammals and plant communities.
“I have lots of colleagues who love to go to Guatemala and other exotic places, but I love California because there is so much to do,” Trewhitt says. “This is such a neat and interesting place with questions to answer.”