Meet Outstanding Teacher Awardee Kendra Schmid, Ph.D.

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Kendra Schmid, Ph.D.
Kendra Schmid, Ph.D., assistant professor, department of biostatistics director, College of Public Health Masters Programs, is among three UNMC faculty members who will receive Outstanding Teacher Awards at the April 25 Annual Faculty meeting.

Below, Dr. Schmid reflects on what it means to be a teacher.

  • Name: Kendra Schmid, Ph.D.
  • Title: Assistant professor, department of biostatistics director, College of Public Health Masters Programs
  • Joined UNMC: 2007
  • Hometown: Hershey, Neb.

What are the greatest rewards of being a teacher?
Helping students to learn new things, apply that knowledge, and then seeing them grow throughout a semester and their program of study.

Describe a moment in your career when you realized you had picked the right occupation.
After my first semester teaching at UNMC, which I was sure was a failure despite my best efforts, I received my course evaluations. It turned out that not only did the students say they learned a lot, but they also enjoyed the class. Students at UNMC really notice and appreciate the hard work that instructors put into helping them learn and succeed.

What are the biggest challenges you face as a teacher?
Biostatistics is not a subject many people love (or even like) right away (or ever). It is challenging to teach the introductory courses in a way to communicate the relevance and importance of biostatistics in education, careers, and everyday life.

How do you know when you've been successful as a teacher?
In every class I have three goals:

  • Students will understand enough to be able to decide what they can do themselves, what they can do after looking it up, and when they need to consult someone else;
  • Students will understand the importance of statistics to their field even if they will never do their own analysis; and
  • Students will dislike statistics less and be less intimidated by it than before they took the course.

If I can accomplish the first two, it is success -- the third is a bonus!

List three things few people know about you.

  • I have three children, ages 12, 10, and 3.
  • I love fantasy baseball.
  • When I was growing up, I wanted to be an astronaut.


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Paula Cooper
April 11, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Congratulations Dr. Schmid!

Cole Vanicek
April 11, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Congratulations Dr. Scmid. But why the out of focus photograph?! Surely our faculty deserve hiqh quality photos if they are to be honored online! I hope someone addresses this.

Aleta Gaertner
April 11, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Kendra is such a pleasure to work with, and this recognition is definitely well-deserved! Congratulations, Kendra!

Sherry Martin
April 11, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Congratulations Kendra! Good luck!