Professor Wins State Award for Innovative Teaching

Valencia professor James May has been honored by the Florida Association of Community Colleges as their 2010 Professor of the Year. The FACC award recognizes the top community and state college professors for teaching effectiveness and style, innovative methods and ideas, and professional development.

Professor May, who teaches English as a second language at Valencia’s East Campus, was one of three state finalists who gave oral presentations at the FACC’s annual convention in Jacksonville last Thursday. May’s winning presentation titled, “Agreeing to Disagree: The Scarier Side of Subject Verb Agreement,” humorously illustrated the challenges of helping non-native speakers grasp the conflicting rules governing subject-verb agreement (he lives, but you live, for example).

“Dr. May proved to be the top choice for each judge,” said Heidi Marshall, vice chair for the FACC Faculty Commission and organizer of the competition. “His engaging presentation offered a fresh approach to teaching subject/verb agreement and demonstrated his expertise in his field.”

Rather than relying on students’ passive viewing of lectures and other materials, May has excelled at facilitating interactive information sharing and collaboration in his classrooms using everything from webcam and You Tube videos, to Google Docs, to content specifically formatted for cell phones and iPods.

Professor May even created a website ( where he teaches other instructors how to incorporate new technologies into their classrooms.