Faculty Members Receive Distinguished Teaching Award
Pat Fidopiastis, a biology professor, and Camille O'Bryant, a kinesiology professor, received the Cal Poly Distinguished Teaching Award for 2014-15. The universitywide award honors tenured faculty members who demonstrate excellence in teaching, innovative instructional approaches, and concern for individual student success, among other criteria.
Pat Fidopiastis, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences Department
Pat Fidopiastis’s passion and enthusiasm is contagious, making students want to attend his class and learn. He has high expectations for his students and challenges them to meet those expectations.
"I looked forward to going to any class with Dr. Fidopiastis because he makes you appreciate the subject matter and makes you want to learn it," wrote a student.
Fidopiastis makes sure students understand one topic before proceeding to the next. He talks with industry professionals about what they expect students to know and adjusts his material accordingly to make his students desirable candidates for jobs in the biotech industry.
A student said, "Dr. Fidopiastis wants his students to get as much real-world experience as possible. He sets up his microbial physiology class similar to a research lab, doing experiments that you would do in a research lab instead of doing 'cookie-cutter' experiments."
Fidopiastis came to Cal Poly in 2006 as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 2010. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in biological sciences from CSU Fullerton and a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Camille O'Bryant, Professor, Kinesiology Department
Camille O'Bryant's challenging and spirited class environment fully engages students and facilitates great discussions.
"She encourages students to get involved and learn more about the topics discussed in class," wrote one student. "Dr. O'Bryant challenges students to dive into the material and learn it well enough to teach it." She humanizes class topics so they are applicable to the present, past and future.
O'Bryant truly cares about her students' well-being. "She helped me cement my views on feminism and sociology and has given me the knowledge with which to better understand the world around me," wrote a student. "Through her teaching, I am not only more aware of my surroundings, but I am more open to learn from them."
O'Bryant started at Cal Poly as an assistant professor in 1999 and was promoted to associate professor in 2006 and to full professor in 2011 and was recently named associate dean. She earned a bachelor's in French studies from Smith College, a master's in exercise and sport studies from Smith College, and a doctorate in sport, leisure and somatic studies from The Ohio State University.
To learn more, please see our faculty awards video.