UW awards Distinguished Teaching Awards to twelve faculty

Award ceremony to be held April 25

· Jan 30, 2023 Tweet

The University of Wisconsin announced its 2023 Distinguished Teaching Award winners Jan. 25. Twelve faculty members were chosen to receive awards.

The awards are presented to all types of faculty members whose teaching deserves acknowledgement and reward, according to the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty.

Professor of communication arts Lyn Van Swol is one of this year’s winners. Van Swol won the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award and focuses on the utilization of health advice, environmental messaging, climate change communication and aquatic invasive species messaging.

“I am deeply appreciative of the extensive pedagogical training that UW-Madison offers faculty because developing my teaching skills took time and focus,” Van Swol said in an email statement to The Badger Herald.

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Associate professor of political science Michelle Schwarze won the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award. 

Schwarze said she specializes in the eighteenth century and is interested in political thinking across history and questions of whether empathy and resentment should influence politics.

Schwarze said this award is the highest honor she could have gotten from the university. She said being recognized for this award is very meaningful to her and it meant a lot that students wrote in support of her for the award. 

Professor of French Jan Miernowski won the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award. He focuses on French Renaissance and early modern French literature. He also collaborates across departments and fields for their work. 

Miernowski said this award is the pinnacle of his professional career. 

“I am deeply convinced that I would not be able to do my research if I were not teaching at the same time,” Miernowski said. 

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Vilas Distinguished Professor of Learning Sciences in the Department of Educational Psychology David Williamson Shaffer is another winner of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

Speaking of his teaching style, Shaffer said he thinks of every class as a story or narrative. Each class session, he said, is a new chapter.

“There are many different ways to be recognized for your research,” Shaffer said. “Teaching always feels like it’s happening behind the scenes, so it is nice to have some public recognition for that.”

Associate professor of English Mark Vareschi won the William H. Kiekhofer Teaching Award. The William H. Kiekhofer Teaching Award is the first teaching award ever presented at UW, created in 1951.

“It’s a huge honor,” Vareschi said. “There’s so many incredible faculty at UW and to be recognized for your teaching when you know that everyone at the university is doing such incredible and dynamic teaching. It’s really special.”

Associate professor of integrative biology Prashant Sharma was awarded the Class of 1955 Teaching Excellence Award. His laboratory focuses on understanding how biodiversity is established and maintained over time, Sharma said in an email statement to The Badger Herald.

“To receive the Class of 1955 Teaching Excellence Award is an unprecedented honor,” Sharma said in the statement. “For me, it signifies the value that the University of Wisconsin-Madison places upon our teaching mission, both on campus and abroad.”

The full list of Distinguished Teaching Award winners can be found here.

The 2023 winners will receive their awards at a ceremony at 5 p.m. April 25 in Memorial Union’s Great Hall. A link to RSVP will be available on the awards website in February.

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This article was published Jan 30, 2023 at 9:38 pm and last updated Jan 30, 2023 at 9:38 pm

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