Teaching award winner: “They motivate me more than anything”
Assistant Professor Selina Morgan, PT, DPT, NCS, is the 2022 winner of the School of Health Professions’ Shirlyn McKenzie Teaching Excellence Award — but to hear her tell it, a big part of the honor goes to her students.
“I love my students because they are the cream of the crop,” Morgan said. "They are so motivated to learn and that makes it all so rewarding."
Morgan, who joined the faculty in the Department of Physical Therapy in 2017, is board certified in neurologic physical therapy. She teaches neurological rehabilitation courses, has helped teach neuroscience courses and leads a pro bono clinic for pediatric and adult patients with spinal cord injury that students help run. Her research interests include spinal cord injury, stroke, brain injury, pediatric neurology and degenerative diseases.
Even though she receives praise for teaching, Morgan says she and fellow faculty are encouraged by Department of Physical Therapy Chair and Associate Professor Greg Ernst, PT, PhD, ECS, to use their preferred teaching styles to meet course objectives.
“I think students respond better to you when you are authentic like that,” Morgan said. “I think being an educator is the same as being a leader, and when you are authentic, you are easy to follow.”
Morgan said her students’ abilities, diverse life experiences and overall desire to be in the program make her job particularly enjoyable.
“I work really hard at it,” she said. “I think it comes across as natural because the students easily receive it. When they buy in, it’s a joy to teach. They motivate me more than anything.”
Morgan is an outstanding teacher “in all facets,” making challenging concepts understandable in both the classroom and lab, Ernst said.
“She involves students in treating real patients outside of the normal classroom,” Ernst said. “She instills in her students not to be satisfied with helping patients compensate for their injury, but instead to help them recover from their injury. But mostly Dr. Morgan excels at being a role model by demonstrating her passion and devotion to patients while making their lives better.”
Watch Morgan discuss her neurological rehabilitation research.