Gail Moore, assistant professor of business administration at Lander
University, was recently named the winner of the university's 2010 Young
Faculty Teaching Award.
For Gail Moore, Lander University assistant professor of business administration and former member of the University of South Carolina women's golf team, joining the faculty at Lander was a hole in one.
"Teaching at Lander is perfect for me," said Moore, a specialist in business law and taxation, who practiced law for 13 years before becoming a full-time educator in 2007.
Her list of accomplishments recently got longer, when she was named the winner of the university's 2010 Young Faculty Teaching Award. The award is presented to a faculty member who demonstrates outstanding and effective teaching.
Moore believes that good teaching is largely a matter of applying one simple principle. As she puts it, "I try to bring the real world into the classroom."
In her commercial law class, for example, there is a "mock trial" in which "everybody plays a role." In her income tax classes, "your test is tax returns."
Students build a product for their own "company" and market it in Moore's introduction to business class.
In one such class, students were assigned to groups and told to build boats capable of carrying a group member across the Lander pool.
One boat, constructed for a small classmate, proved too small and sank -- an omen for ill-conceived business ventures.
Moore believes that such approaches to teaching are "more interesting than just something we look at in a book."
A native of Alice, Texas, Moore intended to return to the Lone Star State after graduating from USC. That changed when she met her husband, Brian, a Greenwood resident also attending USC at the time.
The mother of four, who earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration in 1992 and a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1995, both from USC, describes the job that she was offered three years ago by Lander as "a great way for me to be able to put my degrees together."
Moore's path to the Young Faculty Teaching Award began with her being nominated by her business administration colleagues. She was required to submit supporting documents, including student evaluations. The process ended with her being confirmed by the university's deans.
Asked what she likes about teaching, Moore said, "I like being in the classroom. It's fun. It really is fun."
Lander's small size facilitates teacher/student interaction, Moore said -- an element of the educational experience which she feels is important.
"It's so great to know my students," she said. "I really like that about Lander."