Health and Human Services Professor Receives Prestigious Regents' Award for Excellence in Teaching
March 16, 2015
Contact: University Relations
Bridal Pearson, senior lecturer and director of the human services programs in the University of Baltimore's School of Health and Human Services in the College of Public Affairs, is a recipient of a 2015 University System of Maryland Regents' Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. Pearson receives this award jointly with John Hudgins, associate professor and chair of the Department of Social Sciences at Coppin State University, for their outstanding collaborative teaching in the joint Master of Science in Human Services Administration program with the University of Baltimore and Coppin State University.
The Regents' Award is the highest honor bestowed by the USM Board of Regents in recognition of exemplary faculty achievement. Each year, up to 18 awards in six categories—collaboration, innovation, mentoring, public service, research/scholarship/creative activity, and teaching—are presented. The awardees are selected by the Council of University System Faculty and submitted to the Board of Regents for approval.
Pearson and Hudgins have been teaching collaboratively in the joint master's program since 2006; Hudgins co-founded the program along with former UB faculty member, Elaine Loebner. The joint program, the only one of its kind in Maryland, is set up as a hard collaboration, meaning the courses are divided evenly among the two institutions. Each academic year Pearson and Hudgins trade off, teaching one semester at their own institution and one semester at their partner institution.
"I feel beyond honored that we're being recognized for our administrative stewardship and teaching in this program," said Pearson. "The strength of this collaboration is reflected in the tremendous successes of our students."
Prior to teaching, Pearson spent 15 years working as a counselor, therapist and outreach worker in various capacities within the field of human services. In 2002, he decided to bring his practical and applied experiences to the classroom and began teaching psychology courses in UB's Division of Applied Behavioral Sciences. Once he earned his Ph.D. in 2006, he moved over to the School of Health and Human Services and took over as director of the human services programs.
Pearson employs role-playing scenarios and active learning assignments that take students outside the classroom as conduits to transfer knowledge to his students. He views himself as "a facilitator of knowledge and sees the students as the nexus of the classroom," a philosophy that drives his somewhat unconventional teaching style.
In addition to teaching, Pearson is currently a member of the University of Baltimore's College of Public Affairs Curriculum Committee, the Education and Workforce Development Committee of the Greater Baltimore Committee and the Human Services Advisory Board for Baltimore City Community College. He also does occasional consulting work for a local firm.
Pearson and Hudgins will be recognized along with their fellow honorees at a special breakfast ceremony as well as during the public session of the full USM Board of Regents meeting on Friday, April 10 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Learn more about Prof. Pearson and Prof. Hudgins.
Learn more about the UB/Coppin joint M.S. in Human Services Administration.
Learn more about the University System of Maryland.
The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, the UB School of Law and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.