According to an mtvU press release, the rankings were calculated based on student ratings from over 8,000 universities and 1.8 million professors. A total of 15 million student-generated reviews were analyzed to create the latest list.
Fennig currently teaches PRW I – Concepts of Wellness, PRW II – Individual Fitness, PRW II in-Taos – Mountain Sports and a graduate level course in the Master of Liberal Studies program – Mythic Image in Modern Pop Music and Technology.
Prior to teaching, Fennig worked at Presbyterian Hospital’s Finley Ewing Cardiovascular and Fitness Center as a personal trainer, in food service, dishwashing and more.
He says the myriad of jobs he’s had in his life and experiences linked with them all contribute to his approach in the classroom.
“I would describe my teaching style as relaxed, human, honest, genuine, intense, and humorous,” Fennig said. “I hope that students leave my course feeling like they have a new perspective with which to approach their lives, and a realization that our philosophies in PRW extend well beyond the classroom.”
Fennig also incorporates different types of media in his teaching in order to “help educate, enlighten, inspire and entertain” his audiences.
“We might sample from YouTube, discuss an issue, employ music related to our topic, or examine obstacles to personal change by learning how to juggle tennis balls,” he said.
Fennig hopes his students can apply his teaching philosophies outside the classroom, as he does so himself.
“If I teach it, I must try and live it,” he said. “I constantly remind my students, and myself, that we are not striving toward perfection, but toward being a human who is aware of themselves. We attend a university with choice, will, and intention; we have a responsibility toward forging ourselves.”
Fennig was the only professor at SMU to be ranked on this year’s Top 25 Professors List. He says its an honor to be ranked near the top, and that it inspires him to keep a high level of expectations in everything he teaches.
“I just love teaching and I hope that it shows,” he said.