Dr. Gary Bonvillian (left), TU President, presents the Professor of the Year Award to Shannon Woods, Assistant Professor of Nursing. Woods was recognized for her enthusiasm, in-depth knowledge of nursing practice and a sincere interest and attention to students.
Woods named Thomas University’s Professor of the Year
Shannon Woods, an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Thomas University, was named the Professor of the Year for 2014 during TU’s annual Commencement ceremony held Saturday, May 3, in Thomasville.
When her name was called, Woods said that she was surprised.
“I really couldn’t believe it,” she said. “All you have to do is look around and you see excellence in teaching from every professor at TU.”
Dr. Ann Landis, Executive Vice President and Provost, said, “Shannon is the kind of teacher who changes students’ attitudes about learning. She is creative and connects the dots. She enables students to experience the joy you feel when you are challenged and you succeed.”
Woods, a resident of Tallahassee, began teaching at TU in 2008. In the fall of 2013, Woods left the U.S. to spend four months in China teaching students in TU’s programs at the School of Nursing at Jiangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the School of Nursing at Wenzhou Medical University. During that time, Woods taught at each university eight-week courses that introduced students to professional Nursing praxis in the U.S.
Joining Woods to teach in China was Dr. Bonnie Woodbery, Assistant Professor of English.
“In China, I watched her pull specific examples from her 30 plus years of bedside nursing to make complex, theoretical concepts understandable to all students, many of whom did not have the best English skills,” Woodbery said. “I gained so much knowledge and had so much fun sitting in on her classes, that I often attended whether I needed to or not.”
In nominating Woods for the Professor of the Year Award, Dr. Susan Otto, Chair of the Division of Nursing, wrote, “Her enthusiasm and in-depth knowledge of nursing practice, coupled with a sincere interest and attention to the students, creates a positive and challenging learning environment for students enrolled in our RN-BSN and MSN programs. Shannon is a highly organized individual who expects the best, not only from her students, but also from herself. She consistently conducts herself with integrity and professionalism in her interaction with colleagues, staff and students.”
Woods also accompanied TU students as they worked with the Frontier Nursing Service in remote Appalachian communities in Kentucky. These Community Health Practicum student groups work with local healthcare providers to serve residents in the area. She serves as Chair of the Curriculum and Program Evaluation Committee for the Division of Nursing, is the RN-BSN Program Coordinator, and also serves on the university’s Safety and Security Committee.
Woods holds a Master of Science in Nursing Degree from Thomas University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from the University of Central Arkansas.