An internationally prominent and honored scholar and researcher will serve as Kansas State University’s 2019-2020 Coffman Chair for University Distinguished Teaching Scholars.
David C. Poole, university distinguished professor in kinesiology and in anatomy and physiology, has been appointed to the chair, which was created in 1995 to highlight the university’s commitment to excellence in undergraduate teaching and learning. Each chair is an acknowledged leading teaching scholar and conducts a research project or develops programs to improve educational methods at the university.
“I thoroughly enjoy teaching and learn at least as much from our students as they from me,” Poole said. “The Coffman chair, as I see it, will permit me to better leverage K-State’s resources to promote teaching excellence by more effectively integrating the processes of scientific discovery into the classroom.”
Poole will spend his year as Coffman chair evaluating which practices of the Association of College and University Educators are producing the best results with Kansas State University students, including those who go on to professional schools. The analysis will survey the up to 160 K-State faculty members who have completed or are currently enrolled in the Association of College and University Educators course to improve teaching and learning.
Poole’s project will examine the following: whether the ACUE course has improved teaching quality and efficacy at the university; what are the primary techniques implemented and which are most effective; what challenges are present with these techniques; and how the university could maximize the value of any teaching improvements across all colleges and departments. He will use the data and survey information collected to present the best teaching practices at the university, build a digital repository of these practices and publish them in peer-reviewed literature.
The highest obligation or responsibility of Kansas State University and any other university, Poole said, is to teach effectively and make students think, often beyond what they and their previous aspirations allowed.
“I take that charge very seriously,” Poole said. “To facilitate a truly transformational process for our students, we must embrace the most proficient methods and the latest in scientific discovery.”
Earning the university’s highest academic ranking of university distinguished professor in 2018, Poole’s research has helped define how oxygen is transported from the lungs to be used by tissue mitochondria. Using innovative models at rest and during exercise, Poole has identified key sites of metabolic control in health and disease. These observations have driven a paradigm shift in the understanding of how capillaries function and advanced novel therapeutics for heart failure.
He has been awarded more than $5 million as principal investigator and $17.9 million as co-investigator in research grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and the American Heart Association. His h-Index is 69 with more than 17,000 citations.
The author of more than 300 research publications and reviews, and three books, Poole has been editor/ associate editor for four scientific journals and currently serves on nine editorial boards. Poole has won top awards for research and teaching from the College of Human Ecology and the College of Veterinary Medicine, as well as the university’s Commerce Bank and W.T. Kemper Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award. He was honored by the British first lady Cherie Booth Blair in 2000 and the Danish National Academy of Sciences in 2010. He was the 2018 Edward F. Adolph Distinguished Lecturer at Experimental Biology. A fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, Poole served as president of its Central States Chapter from 2001-2002. He also is a fellow of the Association of College and University Educators for K-State and councillor for the Exercise and Environmental Physiology section of the American Physiological Society. He is a 2019 American College of Sports Medicine Citation Award winner.
Poole has taught more than 5,000 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate/professional students at Kansas State University, and mentored more than 70 master’s and 16 doctoral students as co-director of the Clarenburg Cardiorespiratory Laboratory.
Poole earned his bachelor’s degree in sports science/ applied physiology from Liverpool Polytechnic, England, and his master’s degree and doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles, with postdoctoral training in medicine at the University of California, San Diego. He was the first recipient of the higher Doctor of Science in physiology from John Moores University in Liverpool in 2000.