Dr. Bacon Wins First Year Faculty Award

Assistant professor of psychology Dr. Amy Bacon, left, meets with a student. Dr. Bacon won Bradley's First Year Faculty Award.

September 21, 2012

By Emily Laidley ‘13

“We’ve won [Bradley’s First Year Faculty Award] for our last three hires. So there’s no pressure, but we’re really good.”

That was what Dr. Amy Bacon recalled hearing from her new colleagues in the psychology department last August at their faculty conference. The award recognizes excellence in teaching in a new Bradley faculty member each year and, this past August, Dr. Bacon rose to the challenge set by her predecessors and received the award.

She suspects it was her enthusiasm in the classroom that helped her earn this award

“I try to approach things in an enthusiastic way. I’m teaching material that I genuinely enjoy and I get really excited about it as I’m talking about it,” she said. “So hopefully my enthusiasm gets transmitted to the students.”

But Dr. Bacon, an assistant professor in the department, did not always want to be a professor. Speaking in front of classes during group presentations made her nervous but when she was “strongly requested” to teach a course in graduate school, she found that she had a passion for instruction.

“The difference was that I was really familiar with the material, as opposed to a class project when you maybe don’t know it as well,” she said.

While finishing her Ph.D., Dr. Bacon began looking for a position that would allow her to continue both the research and teaching she enjoys.

“I was really lucky to find a place here at Bradley that really valued teaching. They wanted excellent teachers; they wanted people that were excited, enthusiastic and good at what they do. And it’s a place that values research, which is also really important to me, “ she added.

Reflecting on the award, Dr. Bacon thanked the psychology department for helping fuel her enthusiasm for the classroom.

“All of my department members and colleagues have come together to share their thoughts and opinions and work together on making this a great department,” she said. “And it really is.”