University at Albany

Excellence in Teaching (Full Time)

Each year, the University at Albany honors special members of its community with Excellence Awards denoting exceptional contributions to the life of the campus. Two faculty members received this tribute in 2011 for Excellence in Teaching (Full Time).

Christine WagnerChristine WagnerPsychology

Professor Wagner gives of her time to her students and her department. She has served as Graduate Director for the Biopsychology/ Behavioral Neuroscience Program, has developed new courses for the curriculum, takes on overloads in teaching and helped design the minor in Neuroscience. She draws on expertise from biology, chemistry, and Psychology, to give students cutting-edge training in a rapidly growing discipline.

At the heart of Professor Wagner’s teaching is her ability to convey enthusiasm about her subject and to generate student interest in a complex area of knowledge. Regardless of the size or level of class, she engages her students in challenging, rigorous study of behavioral neuroscience, achieving outstanding results. She teaches an introductory Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience class of over 200 students. The course is by nature interdisciplinary, requiring her to explain complex biological brain functions to an audience with little background in the sciences. Student evaluations show that she successfully conveys such complex information and engenders student interest. Her ratings are consistently above the mean and the average for the department.

Professor Wagner uses primary literature and her own research as the major teaching tools. Students read original research papers, delve into them, learn from them and critique them. One student in her undergraduate advanced Behavioral Neuroscience course, wrote, “It was more like a graduate student journal club… it was tough, challenging, and fun.” A peer observer notes “Professor Wagner has generated an environment within which the students can learn and grow, and has taught them priceless skills – reading, critical thinking and the ability to express their thoughts clearly.” Dr. Wagner is rightfully proud of her sustained training of graduate students who work in her lab, transforming them into independent, critical thinkers and budding scientists in their own right.

Professor Christine Wagner exemplifies the best that our faculty members offer to their students— a committed teacher-scholar, who continually explores new research and publications in her field to engage students in learning, in the classroom and in the lab.

Excellence in Teaching (Full Time)

Joanne Kaufman Christine Wagner
Joanne Kaufman
Christine Wagner

Students participate in more than 200 student clubs and honor societies, and enjoy a busy calendar of campus events.