Posted 3:03 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Eugenia Turov wins Most Accessible Instructor Award
July is Disability Pride Month — a chance to commemorate the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and to recognize and celebrate people with disabilities of all kinds.
As part of Disability Pride Month at UW-La Crosse, the ACCESS Center has announced the recipients of its Most Accessible Awards. These awards are given annually to an instructor, staff member and department that go above and beyond to ensure accessibility on campus.
This year’s recipients are:
- Eugenia Turov, Chemistry & Biochemistry Department
- Tracie Bateman, Student Support Services
- Chartwells/Dining Services
This is the first article in a three-part series highlighting the winners.
Q: How do you promote accessibility and access on campus?
A: I support accessibility and access on campus primarily through supporting students' needs in my classroom. I meet individually with each of my 96 students every semester and work with them to understand how they learn best, what accommodations they need (either through the ACCESS Center or in some additional ways that I can provide), and how I can help them do their best by introducing a variety of study strategies. These meetings build trust between me and my students, which allows them to feel comfortable coming to me when they need additional help and resources, or when they have learning challenges that we can tackle together. I think this helps create a positive learning atmosphere that also allows students to advocate for themselves in future courses and helps them feel empowered as students. In the past, I was also part of IDAC (Individuals with Disabilities Advisory Committee), though this committee was put on hold when the previous director of ACCESS left UWL.
Q: Why is promoting accessibility and access important to you?
A: Promoting accessibility and access for students is very important to me because I believe that when students are admitted to UWL, we make them a promise that we will foster their success. Students with different learning abilities come to UWL not always having had access to the tools they need and deserve to be successful. Students need to feel supported and empowered to use all the available tools so that they can succeed and grow. Since CHM 103 is an introductory course, many students are not aware of what resources are available to them. Since CHM 103 has a reputation for being very challenging, students are often afraid to seek help. I strongly believe that it is my job to normalize help-seeking, and to normalize accessibility in our courses because this helps ALL students be better and learn better. Positive, inclusive, and supportive classroom climates have been shown to dramatically increase positive outcomes for students, and I have witnessed first-hand how much students can excel when given the opportunities and equal access to needed resources.
Q: What does it mean to you to receive this award?
A: It means SO much to me to receive this award, especially since I was nominated by a student. Teaching is sometimes a thankless job, so it's affirming and heartwarming to hear that I have had a positive impact on students. It is an excellent reminder that every minute I spend helping students is an investment in their success and that it's always meaningful and time well spent.