Established in 1980-81, the Edward G. Pleva Award for Excellence in Teaching was named in honor of Edward Gustav Pleva, Western’s first Geography teacher in 1938 and head of the department from 1948-68.
During his decades of experience, Jerry Battista has lived a teaching philosophy emphasizing impact in students’ lives. Each course begins in “a comfort zone” before he delves into more challenging material. His goal is to create a nonthreatening learning environment for students.
He has been called an innovator. Battista helped develop DeskCAT, a device that brings the concepts of CT scanners to the classroom. These devices have been hailed as “highly beneficial” to students just starting out in the classroom. He has also transitioned an in-class course into an online course, a conversion colleagues hailed as “superb.”