Edmonds named PHHP Teacher of the Year

By Marissa Lyons

Lisa Edmonds, Ph.D., has been named Teacher of the Year for the College of Public Health and Health Professions. Her students nominated her for the award.                      

“It meant a lot that our undergraduate students felt that I had been an effective teacher,” Edmonds said.             

Edmonds, an assistant professor in the department of speech, language and hearing sciences, has been teaching at the University of Florida for five years. She teaches an undergraduate course on the neurological bases of communication, as well as a graduate level adult language disorders course for students training to be speech-language pathologists.

“It is very apparent that she is well-liked and well-appreciated by the students at UF,” said Christine Sapienza, Ph.D., the chair of the department of speech, language and hearing sciences.

When it comes to her students, Edmonds is empathetic, accommodating and approachable, Sapienza said. Edmonds is known for understanding her students’ academic needs and having a consistent open-door policy. Sapienza said Edmonds relates well to her students, and her evaluations from students are outstanding.

 “They love her,” Sapienza said.    

Edmonds said she tries to create an environment in the classroom that encourages discussion, critical thinking and engagement in the material. As a teacher, she strives particularly to be accessible and fair, as well as to challenge her students.   

“I try to do whatever I can to help each student reach their full potential,” Edmonds said.

Edmonds teaches a difficult curriculum that can be hard for students to understand, Sapienza said. Since she knows her material very well, she is able to easily convey it in a manner that her students will understand.       

But Edmonds put the praise back on her students, noting they are bright, enthusiastic, and make teaching easy and enjoyable.

Edmonds is a certified speech-language pathologist. After receiving her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, she earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas in communication sciences and disorders, with an emphasis on aphasia rehabilitation and bilingualism. She came directly to UF following her Ph.D. program.    

Edmonds said that winning the award meant a lot to her.

“I was really pleased and really happy that my teaching had been effective and potentially helpful for students,” she said.