U announces Distinguished Teaching Awards

The U teaching committee chose three professors to receive the 2006 Distinguished Teaching Award.

Lynn Jorde, Suzanne Stensaas and Barry Weller were selected from a list of seven professors.

Barbara Nash, chairwoman of the U teaching committee, said the committee had a difficult time choosing the three recipients.

“The recipients this year are particularly notable for conveying their scholarship to the classroom and beyond,” she said.

The award is given to faculty with eight or more years of service at the university. It is primarily intended to recognize “outstanding teaching, innovative pedagogy and concern for students.”

Jorde, a professor of human genetics, received the award because of his ability to communicate complex aspects of human genetics to his students, Nash said.

“He is valued for his concern for students and accessibility,” she said. “He even provided his home phone number so students could call him the evening prior to an exam.”

Stensaas, a neurobiology and anatomy professor, said she was delighted to be a recipient of the award.

“I’ve been here since 1970, so after 35 years of teaching, it felt really good to find that my efforts have been acknowledged,” she said. “It is nice to be paid and awarded for what you like to do.”

Nash noted Stensaas’ international reputation for teaching anatomy and innovative use of new technology in her teaching.

Weller, a professor of English, was proposed as a recipient because of his renowned expertise in Renaissance study.

“Students described his passion and enthusiasm for the subject and for creating an environment for students to develop their own skills,” Nash said. “Students valued professor Weller’s generosity with time and his focus on individual student interests.”

Though the awards have already been announced, it is expected that President Young will not formally confer them until graduation ceremonies this spring.

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