UNMC’s Cornish, UNO’s Holland win 2011 OTICA awards
Jonna Holland UNMC’s Cornish, UNO’s Holland win 2011 OTICA awards

University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken has announced the 2011 winners of the Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award (ORCA) award: Kurtis Cornish, professor in the Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center; and Jonna Holland, associate professor of marketing at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The OTICA recognizes individual faculty members who have demonstrated meritorious and sustained records of excellence and creativity in teaching.

Kurtis Cornish, professor in the Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, UNMC: Cornish is perhaps the ultimate educator: In teaching students how to place nasogastric tubes – an essential skill – Cornish allows them to place a tube in his own nose, despite the discomfort of the process. He is also an innovator who created the “J-term” at UNMC, an intense, three-day June workshop where medical students learn key diagnostic and treatment skills they need to transition from medical school to the clinical years. Further, where students historically learned principles of cardiovascular physiology by using a live dog, Cornish computerized this “dog lab” so students can use a simulated model instead – a method that has been adopted by educators around the world. Cornish has developed an outstanding reputation among medical students, who have awarded him the Golden Apple Award for teaching six times.

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Jonna Holland, associate professor of marketing, UNO: One colleague once said of Holland that she demonstrates what it means to “place students first” at UNO. In 2009, Holland received the UNO Excellence in Teaching Award, the highest teaching award available on campus, and was successfully nominated by her students to be inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society. For the past decade, Holland has served as the College of Business Administration’s internship coordinator; conservatively, she has placed more than 1,800 students in internships. More than 75 percent of the college’s interns are offered full-time employment with their internship companies upon graduation, an important economic driver for the Omaha area. In addition to serving her students and UNO, Holland engages the Omaha community, incorporating service learning into her courses to help students understand the world more broadly..

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