Co-Director - Center for Environmental Education
Hi, I'm Cindi Smith-Walters, Ph.D, a full professor of Biology and co-director MTSU Center for Environmental Education (CEE), and I'm one of Tennessee's Best educators.
I came to MTSU in 1993—the same year my 15-year-old son was born—because it afforded me the opportunity to teach Biology CONTENT courses to pre-service teachers, which would allow me to share my love of science and the environment and to work with the Center for Environmental Education. Every semester I teach Life Science for Elementary Education majors and other courses as schedules allow. I also work with formal and non-formal educators; co-direct the Center for Environmental Education; and work with non-profits; schools; youth groups; and local, state, and federal agencies and organizations. Being awarded the MTSU Foundation awards for both Public Service AND Teaching on back-to back-years has been the absolute highlight of my career at MTSU.
I stay at MTSU because I really like what I do and have the flexibility to try new things whether it be in the areas of programming, obtaining funding, instructional techniques, and research.
Students are the best part of my job. I also appreciate ongoing contact with classroom teachers and youth leaders and sharing my appreciation of the environment with them so they in turn can incorporate it when they work with their own youngsters. Lastly, the CEE consultants and staff are exceptional and my department chair is A-Number 1. He strongly supports the CEE's efforts and encourages me to try new things efforts.
When working with MTSU students, I want to be approachable and helpful. I send notes and resources to those currently enrolled in courses I teach and I give both my office and home phone numbers on the course syllabus. It isn't unusual to have students call if they have questions about lecture or before exams. I have a big e-mail distribution list and encourage students to keep in touch after they've taken my classes and many of them do. I send notices and information to those who have opted to stay in touch and have even presented at state and regional conferences with a number of them.
I would encourage anyone qualified to become a MTSU faculty member, particularly in biology, because it is the best place in the world to work. The staff, fellow faculty members, and department chair all want to make a difference, and they do.
The MTSU campus and its members are friendly and helpful—almost like a family. The faculty and staff are the best.We care that students do well and want everyone to achieve to the best of their abilities. And that sets MTSU apart from all the other colleges and universities.
Come be one of Tennessee's Best at Middle Tennessee State University. You'll be glad you did.