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Hunsinger receives UNC Board of Governors Teaching Award

BOONE—Dr. Scott Hunsinger from Appalachian State University has received a UNC Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award. He will receive a commemorative bronze medallion and a $7,500 cash prize. Established by the Board of Governors in 1994 to underscore the importance of teaching and to reward good teaching across the UNC system, the awards are given annually to a tenured faculty member from each UNC campus. Winners must have taught at their present institutions at least seven years. No one may receive the award more than once.

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Hunsinger is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Information Systems in the Walker College of Business. He has taught at Appalachian since 2004. He served in multiple roles in the North Carolina Community College System from 1996-2004, including dean of academic affairs and information technology and instructor, and previously worked at Microsoft Corporation in Charlotte.

In order to stay up to date on the latest technologies, Hunsinger has earned more than 20 Information Technology certifications. He encourages his students to pursue certifications, as his research has shown that some employers use certification to differentiate among job candidates.

Hunsinger received $35,000 in funding to begin a Cisco Networking Academy in 2010 so that his students could gain experience with equipment. He integrates hands-on activities since many students learn best kinesthetically.

Hunsinger believes that students learn best by doing, not just by seeing and hearing. A former student explained, “He made (class) fun and engaging through humor and hands-on opportunities, communicating the material of each class in highly effective fashion.”

Hunsinger has served since 2006 as faculty Advisor for the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) student club. Through AITP, he offers additional learning opportunities to students. Each spring, Hunsinger takes students to compete at the AITP National Collegiate Conference. He mentors these students as they prepare for the competitions. His students have won four 1st place awards, two 2nd place awards, and an honorable mention in the undergraduate and graduate papers competition. Overall, the chapter, members, and he have received more than 25 awards, including back-to-back National Chapter of the Year and National Faculty Advisor of the Year.

Hunsinger believes in the importance of learning both inside and outside the classroom. Each year he takes students to visit technology-related companies so that they can learn about technological infrastructures and network with employees. He has chartered buses to take large groups of students to visit companies such as Cisco Systems and IBM. For the past five years, he has taken 50 to 65 students each January to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Hunsinger also sets up multiple guest speaker meetings on campus each semester so that students can learn about job and internship opportunities. An alumnus stated, “His leadership and devotion to his students and organizations is unparalleled.”

In 2008, Hunsinger became the internship coordinator for the Department of Computer Information Systems. He strongly encourages students to gain real-world experience through internships before graduating. Making sure that students are well-prepared for the workforce is one of Hunsinger’s most important goals. He mentors many students and helps them find full-time jobs. A former student wrote, “Dr. Hunsinger ensures that students get exposure to top-notch companies.”

He received the Plemmons Leadership Medallion in 2012 for his work with students and the Walker College of Business Faculty Award for Teaching in 2011.

Hunsinger earned a Ph.D. in information technology, M.B.A., and B.S.B.A. in management information Systems from UNC Charlotte.

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