Dalun Zhang: Committed Teacher

Written by: CEHD Communications Staff
Post date: November 10, 2010

Anyone who’s been in front of a class knows how much effort goes into great teaching. It’s a commitment Dalun Zhang makes to his students every day.
“I believe that teaching is an important responsibility as a faculty member,” says Dalun, associate professor of special education in the Department of Educational Psychology. “As an instructor, I emphasize and foster students’ self-determination by giving them choices and opportunities to make certain decisions. I pay special attention to guiding students’ learning by challenging them with analytical questions and application activities.”
“The opportunity to make a difference through training teachers and mentoring doctoral students drives me as a teacher,” he adds.
Dalun first came to Texas A&M University in 2005 from Clemson University. He holds a doctorate and master’s degree in special education from the University of New Orleans, and a master’s in education theory from East China Normal University.
In addition to his teaching and research activities, he serves as the president of the National Council for Exceptional Children, Division on Career Development and Transition.
Dalun’s students benefit from his dedication to teaching, as well as the knowledge and expertise he brings to the classroom.
“As a student in his classes, I have been able to experience lessons that are filled with his extensive knowledge. His gentle manner provides an exemplary role model for all of his students, but within his kind approach is an educator that inspires you to do your best,” says Lucinda Thelen, a former master’s student.
Dalun’s dedication to teaching was recognized with the 2010 College-Level Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching, which recognizes outstanding teachers whose commitment to student development exemplifies the meaning of teacher/mentor in its highest level.
“Despite his active and demanding work within the educational psychology department, Dr. Zhang always puts students and their learning first. There is no doubt that he cares for the overall development of his students,” say Leena Jo Landmark and Cheryl Grenwelge, both former doctoral students.
“His command of the discipline, commitment to the learning process and mentorship of students make him a well-deserved recipient of this award.”