2003 D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Teaching
Department: Poultry Science
Dr. Mark Compton is a master in the classroom. He uses a multidimensional approach to teaching. His animated lectures are often developed around elaborate, multicolored chalkboard drawings that convey vivid pictorial images of anatomical, physiological and biochemical concepts.
Compton's laboratory exercises are the central focus of his courses. They provide hands-on experiences that are intimately integrated with lecture material. These exercises range from in-depth anatomy exercises to mini-experiments showing principles of nutritional deficiencies in poultry. Other exercises use challenging surgical techniques and sophisticated physiograph recording instrumentation. Even his testing approach is unique. Virtually all of his exams include an oral question that is evaluated in a one-on-one, student-instructor format.
His "Avian Anatomy and Physiology" course is rigorous. Students consider it among the most difficult at the University of Georgia. It's highly unusual for students to give good teaching evaluations to professors who teach difficult courses. Yet they consistently name him as one of the best teachers, if not the best, they have had at UGA.
He is enthusiastic in the classroom and exudes an excitement about and knowledge of his subject matter that is infectious to his students. He creates an environment in which students enjoy learning. It's not unusual for students considering careers in education to enroll in Compton's courses not only to learn the subject matter he presents, but also to learn from him how to inspire and motivate students.
On recent course evaluations, students have written:
- "I can't say enough about the instructor. Dr. Compton was amazing. He was definitely the best instructor I have ever had. I wish there was space on the evaluation form to rank him higher than excellent."
- "Cared more about students than any other teacher."
- Wonderful professor! He is the kind of professor few are lucky to have."
- Very enthusiastic, cared for students, helped us succeed."
These comments are a testament to Compton's exceptional effectiveness as an instructor.
Compton represents the CAES and department of poultry science at functions for elementary, middle and high school students. His ability to relate to young people makes him a natural for programs designed to interest prospective science students. He has been intimately involved with the Georgia Science Fair as a volunteer judge.
Outside the classroom, Compton has been a faculty advisor for the Poultry Science Club, where he has been actively involved in service projects and club activities from softball games and kayak trips to blood drives and food bank collections. Collectively, his love for teaching and dedication to students comprise an excellence that should be a model for all other teaching faculty to emulate.