Clemson President Emeritus Philip Prince (far left) and Undergraduate Student Body President Maddy Thompson (far right) present the Phil Prince Award for Innovation in Teaching to PRTM EDGE program leaders (from left) Fran McGuire, Bob Brookover, Betty Baldwin, Teresa Tucker and Denise Anderson.

Clemson President Emeritus Philip Prince (far left) and Undergraduate Student Body President Maddy Thompson (far right) present the Phil Prince Award for Innovation in Teaching to PRTM EDGE program leaders (from left) Fran McGuire, Bob Brookover, Betty Baldwin, Teresa Tucker and Denise Anderson.
Image Credit: Clemson University

Five Clemson University parks, recreation and tourism management faculty members have received the university’s Phil Prince Award for Innovation in Teaching.

The faculty members – Teresa Tucker, Betty Baldwin, Denise Anderson, Fran McGuire and Bob Brookover – were honored at the Victor Hurst Convocation Tuesday at the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts.

Psychology professor Robert Sinclair was also recognized with the Graduate Student Excellence in Mentoring Award, which recognizes a faculty or staff member who mentors or advises graduate students. The goal of the award is to show graduate students’ appreciation for the faculty and staff who help students navigate the rigors of graduate school.

The PRTM faculty members were honored for their leadership of the department’s Engaging in Diverse, Guided Experiences (EDGE) program, an innovative, immersive experience for sophomores that takes a collaborative approach to core parks, recreation and tourism management content.

Unlike a traditional semester with several classes, the EDGE program incorporates the content of those classes into one “mega” learning experience comprised of lectures, small group work, individual assignments, readings, field trips, research and collaborations on real-world issues, said Tucker, who coordinates the program.

Students meet in groups of eight, 16, 32 or 120 and gather in classrooms, computer labs, auditoriums, conference rooms, parks and recreation agencies or forests, depending on the day. Students take no other classes and are guided by the EDGE faculty team.

“During that semester our world is all EDGE, all the time,” Tucker said.

“The program accomplishes two important tasks,” she added. “It allows students to understand the interrelationships of the core content of our field, and it provides an opportunity for faculty members and students to create relationships that last throughout and beyond their Clemson years.”

Named for Clemson President Emeritus Philip Prince, the Prince Award for Innovation in Teaching recognizes outstanding faculty members who demonstrate creative and novel teaching methods.

“The EDGE program is a testament to the ingenuity of our faculty and their responsiveness to the needs of our students,” said Brett Wright, interim dean of the College of Health, Education and Human Development, which houses the parks, recreation and tourism management department. “They recognized that students need experiences that give them a full understanding of the importance of parks, recreation and tourism management in health and community development, and prepare them for a long-term, impactful career.”