Farewell to Dr. Chaves, ‘The Standard For All Professors’

We are now reaching the end of the 2008 spring semester and many of us are graduating to embrace “the real world”. Those of us whom are leaving will always remember our undergraduate college experience as a significant milestone in our lives. Each one of us has our own distinguishable memories that leave imprints shaping our perspective. Many of us experienced faculty or staff members that were inspirational or were a means of support through our undergraduate career. There is one professor that I had the honor of being a student under her auspice and who truly sets the standard for all professors. She is Dr. Wanda Chaves. Those students that had the opportunity to encounter her know exactly why I am commending her work.

Her demeanor as both a professional faculty member and a dear friend to her students are rare characteristics and definitely worthy of praise. In my second semester as a transfer student at UT I had the opportunity to take Organizational Behavior. Initially, I was not very excited about the topic. It was not one of particular interest. However, by evaluating her passionate and creative teaching style she quickly caught my attention. I have never encountered a professor that showed such concern for her students. For example, on one exam the overall class average was low and the expression on her face revealed complete disappointment. Not only did she express feelings but she took time to inquire about what caused the substandard performance. Also, she had us read a book called A Peacock in the Land of Penguins, which implied that we should always be that peacock embracing our personal values and not to fear to be different. Furthermore, at the end of the semester as we were being dismissed she confidently stated “Anyone in need of recommendations, please come and see me.” These are just a handful of examples that reveal her distinctive teaching style and her passion for her work.

From evaluating Dr. Chaves’s behavior it is palpable that she views her work as a service to the greater good of society. It is unfortunate for future UT student since they do not have that opportunity to experience working with her. She will be leaving at the end of this semester. Her distinguishable teaching will be missed because it obviously was not a mere job of relaying information but rather she worked towards inspiring and counseling her students. I cannot express my gratitude enough to Dr. Chaves. However, there is one thing I do not like

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