February 14, 2022

I Love Teaching Because…

Education is a difficult profession that is not without its pitfalls — because of this, it takes special people with a passion for teaching to make it work.
On this Valentine’s Day, we wanted to highlight some UAMS professors and ask them why they love teaching.


“I have a passion for teaching; be it in the classroom or the laboratory. The satisfaction I receive from watching a student progress from a novice to a proficient scientist is one of the reasons that I chose to leave the industry and return to the academic setting.” — Mari Davidson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor — Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.

“I love teaching because I know the knowledge and skills I am providing students will have an impact for hundreds, if not thousands, of their patients in the future. It is truly an honor to help students get their healthcare careers off to strong starts and see their success as they master skill after skill! ” — Layla Q. Simmons, M.Ed., RDCS, RDMS, Assistant Professor — Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

“I love to teach because I love sharing the “ secret of how to make fire “ (nursing care) and knowing the students will go on and share it with their patients! I love watching faces light up with understanding! I love having students open up and share! Mostly I love teaching because I love learning and you can’t teach without learning something new all the time!” — Kimberly Stickley, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC, Clinical Instructor — UAMS College of Nursing

“Teaching is more than distributing information or knowledge reception – it’s the shared process of discovery, meaning-making, mentoring, and growth. Teaching allows me to invest my knowledge, experience, and skills into the students so our patients and my profession can benefit from a greater, collective return.” — Tom Jones, M.Ed., RRT, CPFT, Associate Professor — College of Health Professions,  Chair — Department of Respiratory Care

“I have been lucky to have had some great teachers during my career and they have inspired me to become the best teacher I can. My love for teaching I think is grounded in those experiences and I hope to be able to pay this forward to my students and, hopefully, inspire them the way that I have been. That’s my real goal.” — Karen Dickinson, MBBS, MD, BSc, MEd, FRCS, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Director — IPE Simulation and Clinical Skills Training

“I love teaching because every day is a new experience and it’s fun! I get to play a part in helping students learn and become future pharmacists- and that’s pretty cool!  Growing up, I always enjoyed school and now I get to be a life-long learner every day.” — Lindsey Dayer, Pharm.D., BCACP, Associate Professor — College of Pharmacy, Director — Experiential Education and Pharmacy Practice

“For me, teaching is not just about passing on knowledge- it’s a connection of mental, emotional and even spiritual domains. It’s where I learn about my student’s values, dreams, fears and hopes — and they learn about mine.” — Sara Tariq, M.D., Associate Professor — College of Medicine

“I love teaching because it gives me the opportunity to help shape the minds of our young professionals and leaders in healthcare, while also learning from my students. I love seeing a student’s thought process when discovering new information and insights – it’s an honor to be involved in someone’s personal and professional growth. ” — Angel Holland, PT, DPT, EdD, Associate Professor — Department of Physical Therapy, Associate Director IPE — NW Campus

“I absolutely love teaching. It is far and away the very best thing I get to do. I could go on ad nauseum as to why but instead I’ll quote one of my former doctoral students who told me recently that because of our work together I was now “part of his story” and if he was successful (which he has been) and someone asked him how that success came to pass then my name would be part of the tale he will tell.I get to live on after the semester and after graduation in this person’s story. I am honored” — Kevin W. Ryan, JD, MA, Associate Dean — Student and Alumni Affairs, Associate Professor — Health Policy and Management