University names year’s top teachers

The university will recognize the 2005-2006 Teacher, Adviser and Advanced Teacher of the Year during Black History Month. These faculty members have continued to pave the road to excellence through citizenship, motivation to learn and teaching strategies.

Students, faculty, administrators and alumni nominated teachers and advisers who exemplify outstanding characteristics, such as compassion and dedication, that help students.

The University honored one Adviser of the Year, three Advanced Teachers of the Year and five Teachers of the Year. Sandra B. Moore, a general studies instructor, was named Adviser of the Year.

Moore, who has been a FAMU faculty member for 15 years, counsels more than 200 students in the School of General Studies.

Besides advising students in her office, Moore teaches a college orientation class based on essential factors that apply to achieving success. For successful advisement, she said she aligns her counsel strategies with the University’s motto, Excellence with Caring, because she genuinely cares about students’ success.

History professor David H. Jackson, associate pharmacy professor Carl B. Goodman, and education instructor Rhonda Porter are the Advanced Teacher of the Year recipients.

Jackson, who has been teaching various types of history for nine years, focuses on critical thinking while instructing his class.

Through hands-on learning, Jackson said he teaches students how to research and think for themselves.

“Students shouldn’t leave (the classroom) thinking the same way they came in,” Jackson said.

In addition, Jackson is the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. adviser and the chairman for the African-American Museum Cultural Center board of directors.

Charles P. Ervin Jr., associate education professor, is one of the recipients of the Teacher of the Year Award.

Ervin said he uses creativity in the way he presents instruction. He uses interactive role play to reinforce lectures by seating the class in numerous socioeconomic groups and using a series of scenarios to exhibit divergence in social groups.

Ervin, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, uses his extensive military experience as realistic examples to explain major concepts.

“He has high personal and professional standards and is a role model worthy of emulation,” said student Magan Evans, who nominated Ervin.

Ervin encourages teachers to think out of the box and influences youth to become more than traditional teachers and counselors. He is currently working with his son for the International Speedway to open a racing school for youth in careers for NASCAR.

Gokhan Hacisalihoglu, another Teacher of the Year, is a plant biologist and professor of general biology, anatomy and other aspects in the biological field.

He organizes his active research lab in Jones Hall to train students for preparation in research conferences.

He also has a personal Web site,, where he is easily accessible to his students. The site includes links and databases pertaining to biology.

“Dr. Haci is a facilitator and guide to the students,” said nominator Jermaine White. “He places emphasis on students being active participants in the learning process.”

Hacisalihoglu serves as a judge for the FAMU Student Research Forum every year and a member of the American Society Planned Biology.

Also honored as Teachers of the Year were Maria U. Okeke, professor in the division of health, physical education and recreation; Valerie D. White, assistant professor of journalism; and Oghenekome U. Onokpise, professor in the division of agricultural science.