Dr. Brenda Y. Cartwright is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology &
Rehabilitation Science at the
Dr. Cartwright brings a distinctive and broad-based perspective to the classroom, including one-quarter century of work experience as a practitioner in both public and private rehabilitation settings. In addition, she has teaching experience in special education at the secondary level, and in college/university settings at graduate and undergraduate levels. Dr. Cartwright is able to share experiences that go beyond nuts-and-bolts transference of facts and theory offered in textbooks.
A cooperative relationship – Dr. Cartwright believes educators are responsible for building a positive professional relationship with students. With this in mind, she believes it is very important for educators to demonstrate a high level of respect for students. She believes educators must convey genuine belief that all students have something to contribute, and that students can bring new insights to a subject or raise questions about a subject that have not yet been considered. The cooperative relationship formed with her students serves as a foundation for structuring course learning activities.
Commitment to and respect for diversity - Commitment to diversity epitomizes the basic philosophical tenets of rehabilitation. These principles include the value and worth of all individuals, a belief in human dignity and the right of all individuals to participate fully in society. Her work experiences in the field of rehabilitation have led her to believe that educators must be committed to recognizing and understanding the diversity of learning styles and student experiences. Educators may then use this understanding to create an inclusive course of study that intentionally addresses issues of diversity. These issues include differing worldviews, cultural and racial differences, and marginalized group concerns. Learning about the students she teaches and listening to their experiences help her reconsider ways of making course content relevant.
Enthusiasm and dedication to valuing inquiry and research – Dr. Cartwright believes that educators must be on the cutting edge of recent scholarship in order to continually expand their understanding of the knowledge base of the courses they teach, as well as help students share their value about inquiry. She believes it is an educator’s responsibility to encourage students to discover the excitement that can be found in research by involving them in research activities (e.g., collaborating on research projects, presenting at conferences and co-authoring publications in professional journals).
Dr. Cartwright integrates these principles in the different dimensions of scholarship (i.e., teaching, research and service) in preparing graduate students for careers in the field of rehabilitation, with a primary focus on the provision of quality services to individuals with disabilities. Further, in designing her course syllabi and evaluation criteria, she strives to optimize student engagement and success.