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PSU professor chosen for Excellence in Teaching Award

Pittsburg State associate professor in the Health, Human Performance, and Recreation Department Laura Covert-Miller was this year’s recipient of the College of Technology’s Excellence in Teaching Award, an annual award given to faculty members in each of the four colleges of Pitt State and funded by the PSU Foundation. 

Covert-Miller earned her degrees at Northwest Missouri State. Before becoming a professor, she had experience working with older adults with special needs in a wellness center in Omaha, Nebraska for four years. She also worked in retirement communities, was a personal trainer and a group exercise leader for a physical therapy company.  

Covert-Miller created TR-iffic Field Days for special needs populations. In doing so, her students get hands on experience while giving back to the community at the same time.  

Covert-Miller was happy for the effort she puts into educating her students to be acknowledged.  

“I was surprised at first but I’m very appreciative to be recognized for the hard work and dedication that I have to educating our students here at Pitt State,” Covert-Miller said.  

Her interactions with students at Pittsburg State is one of her favorite things about teaching.   

“…I can’t really narrow it down just to one,” Covert-Miller said. “But I would say definitely some of my favorite things would be being able to of course interact with our students, engage with the students and probably the best is watching the students grow. And grow in their confidence and their knowledge from the time that I see them whether it be the first time I meet them as a freshman or sophomore or junior, whenever they come to me to be in our program it’s just great to watch them develop into an expert in their field and to really start understanding the material and being able to apply the material. So, I would say (some of my favorite things about teaching at Pitt State are) just interacting and engaging with the students and just watching them grow in their confidence.”  

James Truelove, dean of the College of Education sees how hard Covert-Miller works.  

“Great teachers understand the power of education in the life of a student and will do everything they can to harness that power,” Truelove told the Pitt State Marketing and Communication Department. “Laura exemplifies this on a daily basis.”  

Covert-Miller has high hopes for her students.   

“…There’s a lot of things that I would like to see them (my students) achieve,” Covert-Miller said. “Of course, typically I love to see my students graduate and to become successful once they graduate in whatever path they choose to take… But also… I’d just like to see them… be a good person and to (help them understand) while I’m teaching them, while they’re taking my classes that what they do matters. I just really hope that they understand that the path they choose to go down in the field that we’re in specifically, in therapeutic recreation, is that what they do makes a difference and they always need to remember that every day they’re going into whatever career they decide to go into.”  

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