Teaching & Learning Champions: Helena Kopecky
February 11, 2021
Teaching & Learning Champions are faculty & staff who contribute to student learning (Guided Pathways Essential Practice #4). We share their stories to celebrate their dedication to instructional excellence & innovation in a series of spotlight articles. #ACCExcellence
Meet Helena Kopecky, Associate Professor of Psychology!
Tell us a little bit about what you do!
As an associate professor of Psychology, I teach Introduction to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology and Human Growth and Development. In addition, I am an adviser to the Psychology Club, which is a student organization under Student Life. The Psychology Club is a club for students who are passionate about psychology and who enjoy creating and/or participating in events that relate to the field of psychology. Some examples of events organized by the Psychology Club in the past three years include film screenings, panel discussions on careers in psychology, and stress management workshops.
Three words that best describe you?
Three words that best describe me are curious, compassionate and dependable.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town, called Roztoky, a few miles outside of Prague in the Czech Republic. My mother turned our back yard into a small farm where she grew fruits and vegetables, and where chickens and goats roamed around all day. We also had dogs, cats, rabbits, and small horses. My father built me and my siblings a wooden playhouse in our yard. He covered one outside wall of the playhouse with chalkboard, and it instantly became my favorite place to play school with my sisters. I was only seven years old, but being the oldest child allowed me to designate myself as the teacher nearly every time we played. The early years of standing in front of my sisters outside of our playhouse, holding a chalk and an eraser while explaining basic arithmetic, marked the beginning of my interest in teaching, which only grew stronger in my adult years.
Why do you love working at ACC?
I love working at ACC because I get to work with a wide range of students as they pursue their degrees. I enjoy helping students learn and finding new ways of engaging them with one another and with the material at hand.
The best advice I ever received was:
Do it until you become it.
What Helena’s colleagues say about her:
“Dr. Kopecky is one of the most extraordinary teachers of psychology I have ever encountered in my long career at Austin Community College. After several years as an adjunct, she became full-time in the fall of 2017, and since then has taught a variety of psychology classes, including Introduction to Psychology, Human Growth and Development, and Abnormal Psychology. She possesses an intense dedication to her students that is reflected in the consistently unsurpassed ratings and comments provided by her students in her psychology classes. Here is an example: “Amazing professor! She is the best!!”
Dr. Kopecky’s attention to all of her students, coupled with a very high level of technical competence in the discipline of psychology, generosity, and a very personable demeanor, has made her very popular with students and colleagues. She is a role model for all of us in this department. For Helena Kopecky, students come first and foremost.”
-Dan Dydek, Department Chair of Psychology
Connect with Helena via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Recommend a Colleague:
Do you know someone who is a champion of teaching & learning? Send their name & why you’re nominating them to TLEDcomms@austincc.edu.