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Marc Dingman


October 2017

For Marc Dingman, teaching and learning go hand in hand.

Dingman, instructor in the Department of Biobehavioral Health (BBH) and director of the Online Bachelor of Science Program Degree Program in BBH, is the 2017 recipient of the HHD Alumni Society Excellence in Teaching Award in the College of Health and Human Development. As someone who is passionate about his students’ success, Dingman feels honored to be recognized for his achievements.

But the accolade is only one piece: the joy Dingman gets out of his work is a reward in itself.

“Teaching is certainly what I invest most of my energy into,” Dingman said. “I work hard to make my teaching as effective as it can be.”

The HHD Alumni Society Excellence in Teaching Award was established in honor of memorable educators whose inspiration is never forgotten, and recognizes excellence in teaching and contributions to the art of teaching.

Dingman has been a faculty member in the Department of Biobehavioral Health since 2013 and the director of the Online Bachelor of Science Degree program since 2016. He developed two courses for the online program and is in the process of developing one more.

Dingman received his doctoral degree in neuroscience from Penn State in 2013. While a graduate student studying in David Vandenbergh’s nicotine addiction lab in BBH, Dingman began teaching. After realizing it was something he really enjoyed, he decided to pursue a full-time teaching position at Penn State.

Since then, Dingman has become one of the highest-regarded instructors, continually receiving excellent marks from his students on end of the semester evaluations.

Dingman said he enjoys teaching because it enables him further explore the material, and look at it in new ways.

“I like learning,” he said. “Teaching is the best way to learn. The questions I get from students force me to reflect on my own knowledge.”

He said he also enjoys teaching because it allows him to share knowledge and information about material he is passionate about.

Dingman has taught a variety of BBH courses, including Biobehavioral Aspects of Stress; Drugs, Behavior, and Health; Principles of Epidemiology; Pharmacological Influences on Health; and many more.

Currently he is teaching BBH 101, Introduction to Biobehavioral Health, and two online courses.

Teaching Introduction to Biobehavioral Health, because it is a foundational course and is required in the department, brings in students with a variety of interests and majors. The course covers something that every has inquired about at some point, he said.

“There is something for everyone in BBH 101. It’s neat to see students with different career paths,” Dingman said. “The Department of Biobehavioral Health is really diverse. My students have unique personalities and interests. The BBH major really allows for students to explore of a variety of topics.”

Another highlight of Dingman’s job, he said, is the students he reaches during the process. For example, helping a student who is struggling in class by spending extra time with him or her on the material, or helping a student choose an internship or career path, is incredibly rewarding, he said.

“When I have a student who needs extra help with a class, I set up a plan with him or her and we talk about the material outside of class,” he said. “When a student pulls his or her grade up, that contributes to my job being really rewarding.”

Dingman said he also keeps in touch with his students after they graduate, and follows their success in internships or jobs. He said it’s interesting to see where students end up after graduation, and what interests they pursue.

“That aspect is just as rewarding,” he said.

Dingman was awarded the Biobehavioral Health Outstanding Teaching Award in 2015. He received his bachelor of science degree in liberal studies in 2004 from Eastern Oregon University.






There are eight areas for students to study within the College of Health and Human Development:

Biobehavioral Health

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Health Policy and Administration

Hospitality Management

Human Development and Family Studies


Nutritional Sciences

Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management