Krista Kimmel has been teaching at EKU since 2005 and is the 2015 recipient of EKU’s Outstanding Instructor award. She is dedicated to facilitating student success and appreciates the classroom diversity that accompanies online learning.
What brought you to EKU?
After finishing my graduate degree in communication at the University of Kentucky, I joined the part-time faculty at EKU. After that, I spent a short stint working for a local nonprofit organization, I returned to EKU in a full-time teaching capacity in 2009.
Tell us a little about your work in your field.
My teaching and research interests include interpersonal communication, instructional communication, and intercultural communication. I’m especially interested in identifying instructor behaviors that best facilitate learning. I also serve as co-basic course director for Communication Studies at EKU. My colleague, Prof. John Strada, and I administer and oversee all general education communication courses.
What moment at EKU stands out as most memorable?
I’ve had the privilege of teaching abroad in London twice thus far. Being able to witness students’ growth first-hand is quite fulfilling. The confidence students gain from studying abroad is transformative and will follow them throughout their future endeavors.
What is your approach to online teaching?
I aim to include personalized communication as frequently as possible. For example, each week I send reminders for assignments due, but I’ll also include some commentary about the current course topic or share other resources. Similarly, I leave detailed, personalized feedback on assignments, with a focus on how students can improve their work.
What do you believe are the biggest advantages to online learning?
Flexibility is an obvious advantage. For instance, students who juggle work, family, and other responsibilities, online learning provides opportunity for students who may be unable to commit to an in-person schedule. Additionally, online learning fosters connection with people all over the globe. I’ve taught students living in Japan, Russia, and Canada, among other locations. Such diversity in a classroom enriches dialogue and understanding.
What have you been up to lately? (Research, projects, awards, etc.)
I currently serve as co-chair (along with my colleague Dr. Jennifer Fairchild) of the Kentucky ACE Women’s Network, which aims to advance women in leadership in higher education. I’m also the current Secretary for the Kentucky Communication Association. In this role, I am able to engage with colleagues across the state!
In conclusion, what advice would you give to someone who’s considering finishing their degree, or starting for the first time as an adult?
Know that faculty and staff support you and want you to succeed. It’s understandable and expected that students will have questions but know that answers are there for you.
Interested in advancing your career?
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