Boyle receives recognition for teaching
By Susan Trulove
Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 32 - June 4, 1998
Joseph E. Boyle has received the 1998 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant certificate from Virginia Tech's Graduate School.
A doctoral candidate in sociology at Virginia Tech with a master's degree in community college teaching from Rowan College of New Jersey and a master's in sociology from Virginia Tech, Boyle nonetheless took a graduate course in college teaching to assure that he had the skills to teach undergraduate classes.
The evaluations of his students document his success. Teaching courses on juvenile delinquency, gender relations, and criminology, he receives 3.8 and 3.9 ratings out of 4.0--even in large classes.
Sociology faculty member Carol Bailey said Boyle is not only dynamic, energetic, and creative, but that he adapts his teaching to students' different learning styles, and that he is a master of the material he teaches.
"If he were a faculty member, his teaching credentials would make him a candidate for a major teaching award," said Alumni Distinguished Professor William Snizek.
Many students commented in their evaluations that Boyle "knows everyone by name" and "really cares about students," and said that he is an excellent teacher. Several students said "this is easily my favorite class." Other comments: "Does a great job involving the class with the material and lectures." "He knows what he is talking about."
Students said that after taking one of Boyle's classes, they took more. One student wrote, "This was the first professor I have had in college or high school who has reached me. He made me feel important even in a class of over a hundred."
Another student said, "He taught me how to think critically and for myself."
Boyle's academic advisor, Clifton Bryant, said Boyle "spends an inordinate amount of time counseling with his students and engaging in informal teaching outside of class. He is very popular but he also enjoys a very high degree of professional respect from his students by maintaining high academic standards in his class."
Boyle has also delivered professional papers on teaching.
As an undergraduate at Rutgers, Boyle tutored undergraduates for Russian classes. He earned a bachelor of arts from Rutgers in 1991, majoring in developmental psychology and minoring in Russian literature. He was an adjunct professor at Rowan College while earning his first master's degree, became a graduate student at Virginia Tech in 1994 and a graduate teaching assistant in 1996 after earning his second master's degree.
Boyle's research interests are technology and its affect on deviant behavior, education and juvenile delinquency, extreme sports as deviant behavior, and vegetarians as falsely accused deviants.