Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2017 – Farmingdale: Luisa Nappo-Dattoma
Dr. Luisa Nappo-Dattoma is currently a Professor of dental hygiene and the Academic Advisement Coordinator of the BSDH degree completion program in the department of dental hygiene at Farmingdale State College. She has taught at Farmingdale as both adjunct and full- time faculty since 1985. She has been a registered dental hygienist since 1983, receiving a BSDH degree from Thomas Jefferson University, College of Allied Health in Philadelphia in 1983; a Certificate of Completion – Dental Hygiene Residency at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine in 1984; a Master’s of Science in Nutritional Science from Long Island University in 1994; and a Doctorate of Education, with a specialization in College Teaching and Academic Leadership, from Columbia University in 1998.
Dr. Nappo-Dattoma has been teaching online since 2009. She teaches one hybrid course, Principles of Nutrition for Oral Health Professionals, in the associate degree program, and two online courses, Teaching Strategies for Health Care Educators, and Dental Hygiene Practicum, in the bachelor degree program. In 2015 she was the recipient of the SUNY Chancellors’ Award for Teaching Excellence. In 2012 she received a Title III teaching grant for her research in the use of a flipped, blended learning pedagogy in a core dental hygiene nutrition course. Her two online courses are posted as exemplary courses for observation for faculty on the Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence website.
Dr. Nappo-Dattoma was the co-recipient of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology Award for Outstanding Scholarly Publication at Farmingdale State College for her research publication on collaborative learning in pre-clinical dental hygiene education. She is the author of numerous articles in nutrition and dental health, a book chapter since 2009 in Wilkins, E. M. Clinical practice of the dental hygienist, a national and international required textbook in dental hygiene. She is an active member of the editorial board for Access, a national editorial board- reviewed publication of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, as well as a reviewer for the journal of the American Dental Education Association, a national peer-reviewed research publication.
I believe that online degree programs provide excellent educational access and flexibility for working professionals. My personal teaching philosophy is firmly rooted in transforming knowledge through an innovative teaching and learning environment. It involves the multidimensional triadic relationship of a student-centered, discipline-based, teacher-facilitated paradigm shift fostering the development of higher-order thinking skills, critical thinking, and intellectual and ethical development. I feel online courses need to offer the same dynamics as any in-class course. Therefore, my online and blended learning courses are structured, engaging and informative in the hopes of fostering critical thinking and a passion for life-long learning, and are parallel to any in-person course I have taught. In my opinion, non-traditional engaging pedagogy personifies the sage proverb of Confucius: ‘I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do, I understand.’