Dr. Peter Cavallo was also recognized with the Part-Time Excellence in Teaching and Instruction Award.
This week, mechanical engineering professor Vallorie Peridier, PhD, was honored alongside other standout Temple faculty with the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. As part of the program, Dean Keya Sadeghipour shared a story that came from Dr. Peridier to show just the kind of impact she has had on students over the years.
After Dr. Peridier joined the faculty at the College of Engineering in 1989, she did so following seven years in industry and eager to impart that experience to our receptive students.
As she recounted her memory from one of those first courses, an experience with a less-engaged student stood out.
"He sat in the back row and snored (loudly) every class. He also plagiarized assignments and could not do the tests. I gave him an F," Dr. Peridier shared, noting that afterward the student visited her office and petitioned for a change. After some discussion, he left the office with Dr. Peridier thinking: "he must be sharper than I thought: he just talked me up to a C!"
"Fast forward two years, and the same student re-emerged in a senior-level course," she remembered. "This time, however, he proved a good student who did his own work."
She continued that early in the semester, he volunteered privately to her that she "must be surprised by the quality of his work, and that he ' owed it all to me'" she said.
"When I asked him what he meant by that statement, he began reciting our conversation of two years ago --verbatim—with my exact verbal cadences and expressions. I was astonished at the impression our discussion had made upon the student."
This cemented two primary takeaways for Dr. Peridier: the value of mentorship but to also the importance of always being "on game" when working with students. Or, as Dean Sadeghipour added: every moment is a teachable one, whether on Canvas or Zoom or in a lab setting, and Dr. Peridier is a wonderful example of that principle."
She was joined by Dr. Peter Cavallo, who was recognized with the Part-Time Excellence in Teaching and Instruction Award. Dr. Cavallo has been on the faculty at the college since 2008 and has been deeply involved in advising senior design teams, including the annual NASA Student Launch program. Other projects for which he has provided guidance include the design of an R/C aircraft and the development of a rear wing for the Temple Formula SAE race car.