An award-winning instructor, Anne Cizmar believes in mentoring and taking an active part in her student’s educational experience. She goes above and beyond to ensure her online students to have the same opportunity to interact and build a relationship with her as their on-campus counterparts. Cizmar’s personal attention and dedication to helping students feel connected makes her a particular point of pride on EKU’s campuses, both in-person and virtual. We take great pride in offering the chance to get to know her a little better.
What brought you to EKU?
EKU is very teaching focused, and I enjoy working with students. EKU provides a wonderful opportunity to work with both graduate and undergraduate students teaching a variety of courses related to American government and research methods. Faculty have many opportunities to regularly engage in teaching professional development to hone their pedagogical skills. Working with students and seeing their academic achievements is very rewarding.
Tell us a little about your work in your field.
I have the honor of serving as the MPA program coordinator for our fully online, NASPAA-accredited master of public administration (MPA) program. In this capacity I work alongside our dedicated advising staff to help MPA students from application to graduation. I also teach a variety of courses related to American government and politics, including classes in the American presidency and bureaucracy, U.S. Congress, campaigns and elections, and introduction to American government, both on campus and online for the undergraduate political science program.
What moment at EKU stands out as most memorable?
I thoroughly enjoy active student learning opportunities. For instance, one of my most memorable moments was taking a group of students to visit a diaper bank. A diaper bank is similar to a food bank, except it provides diaper supplies to families in need. We met with the CEO of the organization, toured the facility, and assisted in wrapping diapers for clients. It was very humbling to hear about the scope of need for these services in America, and the work of non-profit organizations to serve their clients.
What is your approach to online teaching?
My online teaching philosophy focuses on being accessible to students. Being online provides so many wonderful opportunities to connect with students. With online instruction, I communicate more often with students than for on-campus classes, where most activity clusters around the few class meetings per week. Being in communication with students throughout the week is a special feature of online teaching that I embrace.
What tactics or approaches do you use to aid in your student’s success?
My online classes are structured so that students have assignments regularly spaced throughout the term. This is beneficial because students get frequent opportunities to practice applying the course concepts and materials, and also helps students to pace their work throughout the term.
What do you believe are the biggest advantages to online learning?
Online learning provides great flexibility for students and their schedules. For instance, many students today are working and have family responsibilities while also completing their education. Online learning allows students the ability to complete their degrees from anywhere in the world while still receiving direct instruction and timely feedback. This is an amazing opportunity that didn’t exist a few decades ago.
What have you been up to lately? (Research, projects, awards, etc.)
In the last few years, I have received multiple awards for my teaching at EKU, including the High-Impact Practice Teaching Award (2018-2019), the Faculty Innovation in Teaching Award (2019-2020), and the Dean’s Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award (2021). All of these awards reflect my commitment to student learning and pedagogical innovation.
What advice would you give to someone who’s considering finishing their degree, or starting for the first time as an adult?
Keep a positive attitude. Getting started may seem overwhelming. It may seem like a lot has changed since you were last in school—but we’re here to help you achieve your goals. Finally, it can be difficult to face new challenges and experiences, and it won’t always be easy. Maintaining a positive attitude is key. Rather than focusing on the challenges you face, look at all of the progress and accomplishments that you achieve.
Interested in a Career in Public Administration?
Are you ready to make a positive impact in your community leading a public agency or nonprofit organization?
Earn your master’s of public administration from a regionally accredited university and leader in online education for 15 years. Enjoy a flexible, online format that allows you to complete coursework and assignments according to your schedule. Complete the form to learn more about how EKU’s online MPA program can help you achieve your goals.