Tag: teaching excellence

State teacher association honoring two Lawrence alumnae with educator awards

Two educators, both of whom graduated from Lawrence University, will be recognized by the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE).

Leila Pertl, a performing arts teacher at Appleton Public Montessori has been named one of the 2018 winners of WACTE’s Pre-Service Educator Mentor Award. Tierney Duffy, a K-8 Spanish teacher at Murray Language Academy in the Chicago School District is the recipient of an Early Career Educator Award.

Both will be be honored at an awards ceremony April 8 in Madison as well as on Sunday, May 6 at the home of Lawrence University President Mark Burstein.

Leila Pertl
Leila Pertl ’87

Pertl and Duffy were selected for the awards by faculty of Lawrence’s college and conservatory teacher education program. Each Wisconsin college or university that belongs to WACTE was invited to select a recipient for each award.

The Mentor Award recognizes an outstanding educator who has demonstrated a sustained pattern of mentoring pre-service educators for at least five years.

A 1987 Lawrence graduate, Pertl has enjoyed a teaching career spanning more than 30 years in several states, including the past five at at Appleton Public Montessori. In her current position, she has been instrumental in helping Lawrence conservatory students decide whether to pursue a career as a music educator.

Stewart Purkey, Bee Connell Mielke Professor of Education and associate professor of education at Lawrence, praised Pertl for her mantra: music is a birthright.

“That has become the conservatory’s unofficial motto and should be the nation’s,” said Purkey. “Leila’s energy and passion for teaching is electrifying and her bold, creative approach is contagious.

“All the students she has shepherded into the teaching profession would agree with a recent graduate who said Leila ‘was the catalyst that made me believe in the power and positive change that music teaching can do,’” Purkey added. “We’re honored to recognize her with this year’s Pre-Service Educator Award.”

In addition to her work at Appleton Montessori, Pertl teaches harp at the Lawrence Academy of Music and has served as the music education curator of Mile of Music since the festival was launched in 2013.

Tierney Duffy
Tierney Duffy ’16

The Early Career Educator Award honors outstanding educators within the first three years of their professional career.

Duffy, a 2016 Lawrence graduate with a major in Spanish, also coaches softball and cheerleading and advises the student council at Murray Language Academy, where she began her teaching career last fall.

Purkey described Duffy as a “caring, welcoming and encouraging teacher.”

“Tierney demonstrates respect for her students by challenging them academically as she responds to their lives and needs and nurtures their growth as people,” said Purkey.

He noted Civil Rights activist and educator Mary McLeod Bethune once famously said, “Our children must never lose their zeal for building a better world.”

“To that I would add, nor must our teachers,” added Purkey. “Because we believe Tierney is such a teacher, we are honored to name her the recipient of the Early Career Educator Award.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Professors Padilla, Frederick, Guenther-Pal recognized for excellence in teaching, scholarship at commencement

Three members of the Lawrence University faculty were recognized for teaching and scholarship excellence Sunday, June 11 at the college’s 168th commencement.

Anthony Padilla, associate professor of music who teaches piano, received the Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes outstanding performance in the teaching process, including the quest to ensure students reach their full development as individuals, human beings and future leaders of society.

Anthony Padilla
Anthony Padilla

The top prize winner of the 2000 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, one of numerous awards he has won in his performance career, Padilla joined the Lawrence conservatory faculty in 1997.

A native of Richland, Wash., he made his debut at the age of 17 with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and has since become a popular performer with orchestras and music festivals throughout the world.

A review following his New York City debut at Merkin Concert Hall hailed Padilla as “a strong-willed, steel-fingered tornado; he plays the piano with absolute authority and gives new meaning to the idea of ‘interpretation’ to the extent that the U.S. Patent Office might well grant him a number. Nobody could copy him.”

In presenting the award, David Burrows, Provost and Dean of the Faculty, credited Padilla for his many hours in one-one instruction and “a nurturing approach both in and out of the studio.”

“Your success comes from focusing on both solid technique, founded on rich traditions of technical musical skill, and on encouragement for each student to develop an individual style and artistic voice,” said Burrows. “You work individually to develop in each of them a unique style and personality that enables them to create a strong musical message.”

A founding member of the Arcos Piano Trio, which has been a recipient of an Artistic Excellence grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Padilla created the “Notable Firsts” program, which features the first published works of such composers as Brahms and Schumann, to promote music that is not often performed.

He earned a bachelor of music degree from North Illinois University and a master of music degree from the Eastman School of Music.

Jake Frederick, associate professor of history, received the award for Excellence in Scholarship. Established in 2006, the award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated sustained scholarly excellence for a number of years and whose work exemplifies the ideals of the teacher-scholar.

Jake Frederick
Jake Frederick

A member of the faculty for the past 11 years, Frederick is a scholar of colonial Latin America, with a specialty in Mexico. His research interests focus on ethnicity issues, including native uprisings in 18th-century Mexico and municipal infrastructure in colonial Mexican cities. He has conducted extensive research in Mexico and spent a year at the country’s National Archive as the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship.

Frederick is the author of two recently published books: “Riot! Tobacco, Reform and Violence in Eighteenth-Century Papantla, Mexico” last fall and just this spring, “Spanish Dollars and Sister Republics: The Money That Made Mexico and the United States,” which he co-wrote with Tatiana Seijas, and examines the shared history of Mexico and the United States as told through the vehicle of money.

Burrows cited Fredericks’ books as “a wonderful example of how knowing history can help us understand the present and overcome significant biases in our beliefs” in recognizing him with his honor. “You are truly a skilled, prolific and engaged scholar whose work helps make Lawrence an outstanding institution.”

Fredrick, the son of award-winning novelist K.C. Frederick, spent five years as a fire fighter with the National Park Service before embarking on an academic career. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and his Ph.D. in history at Penn State University.

Alison Guenther-Pal, assistant professor of German and film studies who also teaches courses for the gender studies major, received the Young Teacher Award in recognition of demonstrated excellence in the classroom and the promise of continued growth.

Alison Guenther-Pal
Alison Guenther-Pal

She initially joined the faculty in 2007 as part of Lawrence’s postdoctoral fellowship program and was appointed assistant professor in 2012. Her research interests include German cinema, 20th-century German culture and feminist film theory. She was the 2015-16 recipient of the university’s Mortar Board Award for Faculty Excellence.

Calling it one of her “distinctive strengths,” Burrows cited Guenther-Pal’s ability “to create the quality of self-direction in your students. You not only teach them, you give them the power to teach themselves. This is the highest achievement we could ask for in a faculty member, and is greatly admired by colleagues and students.”

“Your drive to make students think critically is combined with great support and compassion. You insist on setting high expectations, but you are also supportive and kind,” said Burrows.

Guenther-Pal has served on the President’s Committee on Diversity Affairs and the Sexual Harassment and Assault Resource Board and serves as faculty advisor to the Lawrence Film Club, Downer Feminist Council and GLOW (Gay Lesbian or Whatever).

She earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Santa Cruz and a master’s and doctorate degree in Germanic studies at the University of Minnesota.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence honors two Appleton teachers as “outstanding educators”

A pair of Appleton high school teachers will be recognized Sunday, May 7 as recipients of Lawrence University’s 2017 Outstanding Teaching in Wisconsin Award.

Marlyce Reed, a history teacher at Appleton North, and Pat Schwanke, who teaches history and psychology at Appleton East, will be honored as outstanding educators.

Head shot of Marlyce Reed
Marlyce Reed

Both will receive a certificate, a citation and a monetary award from Lawrence President Mark Burstein in ceremonies at the president’s house. Their respective schools also will receive $250 for library acquisitions.

Recipients are nominated by Lawrence seniors and selected on their abilities to communicate effectively, create a sense of excitement in the classroom, motivate their students to pursue academic excellence while showing a genuine concern for them in and outside the classroom. Since launching the award program in 1985, Lawrence has recognized 66 state teachers.

Reed joined the Appleton Area School District in 1991 and has been a member of the faculty at North High School since 2006. Her teaching experience includes AP American Studies, AP U.S. history, U.S. history, history media, civics, e-school civics as well as extensive work in the Gifted & Talented field. Since 2014, she has served as a College Board reader for Advanced Placement U.S. history exams.

North honored Reed in 2011 with its Teacher of the Year award and she is a three-time recipient of the Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth Excellent Educator Award.

“Ms. Reed is a teacher who takes her role as an educator with utmost seriousness and treats her students as scholars in their own right.”
— Lawrence senior Gabriel Peterson

 

She created the first International Community Problems Solving Team featuring students from North High School and Shchuchye, Russia. They worked collaboratively to address safety issues related to a Cold War chemical weapons depot near the village of Shchuchye. Reed worked with numerous Russian government officials, the U.S. State and Defense Departments, the Green Cross, Parsons Company and local Shchuchye residents to establish safety programs and protocols to promote acceptance of the weapons deconstruction plant built by the U.S. government.

Lawrence senior Gabriel Peterson, who nominated Reed for the award, described her as “a dedicated, wise and hard-working teacher.”

“Ms. Reed is a teacher who takes her role as an educator with utmost seriousness and treats her students as scholars in their own right, helping them grow academically and personally through her often-rigorous curriculum,” Peterson wrote in his nomination. “Her holistic approach to teaching also gives her students valuable skills in writing and critical thinking, preparing many for further education and giving all an expanded mindset.”

Originally from Independence, Iowa and a graduate of Wisconsin’s Wonewoc-Center High School, Reed earned a bachelor of music degree from UW-Stevens Point and a master’s degree in music from Northwestern University. She also received certification in history and broad field social studies from Lawrence.

Head shot of Pat Schwanke
Pat Schwanke ’83

Schwanke has taught at East High School since 1985 and served as the head coach of the Patriots football team for the past 26 years.

He is a member of the American Psychological Association and since 2011, has been active in the Fox Valley chapter of Voices of Men, an organization that works to end sexual assault and domestic violence. From 2012-16, Schwanke coordinated the Appleton East Tackles Cancer initiative. He was presented the Helen and Ade Dillon Award in 2015, which honors an AASD staff member “who encourages a balanced life for students through excellence in education and involvement in student activities outside of the classroom.”

“Pat cares about each of his students individually and knows how to make sure every student will succeed and reach their highest potential,” Lawrence senior Aubrey Scott wrote in her nomination of Schwanke. “He always made every topic exciting and engaging. It was in Pat’s class that I first found a love for psychology and realized that I want to teach it someday and pass on that love to others, just as he does for his students.

“I hope that I can someday leave an impact on my students like Pat did with his,” Scott added. “I think any of my classmates would agree with me that he deserves this award more than anyone.”

A native of Menasha, Schwanke graduated from Lawrence in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology/secondary education with teacher certifications in broad field social studies, economics, history, political science and psychology.

“It was in Pat’s class that I first found a love for psychology and realized that I want to teach it someday…I hope that I can someday leave an impact on my students like Pat did with his.”
— Lawrence senior Aubrey Scott

A former standout tight end on the Lawrence football team who helped the Vikings win three consecutive conference championships, Schwanke was inducted into the Lawrence Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

 

 

Three LU Faculty Honored at Commencement for Teaching Excellence, Creative Activity

 Amid the pomp and circumstance of Lawrence University’s 165th commencement Sunday, June 15, three members of the faculty were recognized for teaching excellence and creative activity.
Tim-Spurgin_newsblog
Timothy Spurgin

Timothy Spurgin, associate professor of English and Bonnie Glidden Buchanan Professor of English Literature, received the Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes outstanding performance in the teaching process, including the quest to ensure students reach their full development as individuals, human beings and future leaders of society.

A member of the faculty since 1990, Spurgin previously was recognized with Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award (1993) and the college’s Freshman Studies Teaching Award (1994). He is one of only four faculty members in the history of the awards to receive all three teaching honors.

Spurgin’s scholarly interests focus on 19th-century English literature, especially the novel and works of Charles Dickens, as well as literary criticism and theory.  His scholarship has been published in the academic journals Dickens Quarterly, Dickens Studies Annual and the Minnesota Review.

In presenting Spurgin his award, Provost and Dean of the Faculty David Burrows cited him for his teaching that extends “well beyond the confines of our classrooms.”

“You help students and faculty learn in countless ways; through individual conferences in your office, presentations at Freshman Studies symposia, discussion group sessions on new ideas about our educational mission, and private advisory sessions that help colleagues develop their own teaching abilities,” said Burrows. “Your firm but calm approach is a form of teaching that makes the entire campus a place where learning flourishes.”

Spurgin also has been a four-time recipient of Lawrence’s Babcock Award, most recently in 2009, for “giving generously of his time and energy to assist students.” After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Carleton College, Spurgin earned his doctorate in English at the University of Virginia.

“You help students and faculty learn in countless ways…your firm but calm approach is a form of teaching that makes the entire campus a place where learning flourishes.”
           — Provost David Burrows on Timothy Spurgin

Monivs-Rico-newsblog
Monica Rico

Monica Rico, associate professor of history, received the award for Excellence in Creative Activity. Established in 2006, the award recognizes outstanding creative work for advancing Lawrence’s mission.

Rico joined the faculty in 2001 and served as the college’s Pieper Family Professor of Servant Leadership and director of engaged learning from 2010-2013.

Her scholarship focuses on gender and cultural history, especially of the American West. She is the author of the 2013 book “Nature’s Noblemen: Masculinities on the Nineteenth-century Transatlantic Frontier” (Yale University Press), which explores how British and American men performed and constructed masculinity in their encounters with the 19th-century American West and with each other.

Burrows praised Rico for her “consistent excellence and brilliance as a scholar” in presenting her the award.

“Your devotion to history and its power to understand the human condition has led you to study many other topics, notably the history of travel to Africa,” said Burrows. “You have used your knowledge to provide support for colleagues in a variety of areas. You also delved deeply into the scholarship of community-based engagement while serving as the Pieper Family Chair of Servant-Leadership. It is clear that you are a person of great intelligence and thoroughness who will continue to devote yourself to insightful scholarship for many years to come.”

In January, Rico was recognized as one of the winners of the 4th Annual Fox Cities Future 15 Young Professionals awards, which honors young business and community leaders for their efforts in work, civic and charitable causes.

She attended the University of California-Berkeley, earning a bachelor’s degree with majors in history and political science as well as a master’s and a doctoral degree.

“It is clear that you are a person of great intelligence and thoroughness who will continue to devote yourself to insightful scholarship for many years to come.”
               — Provost David Burrows on Monica Rico

Stephen-Sieck-newsblog
Stephen Sieck

Stephen Sieck, assistant professor of music and co-director of choral studies, received the Young Teacher Award in recognition of demonstrated excellence in the classroom and the promise of continued growth.

A member of the faculty since 2010, Sieck directs Lawrence’s 110-voice Viking Chorale and co-directs Cantala women’s choir and Concert Choir. His research interests include diction pedagogy and he has published articles on British composer/conductor Benjamin Britten and renowned American composer Aaron Copland.

In presenting him his award, Burrows said his success could be attributed to “a wonderful combination of passion, an insistence on high standards of achievement and care for your students.”

“Colleagues also praise your generosity and admire you for the culture of artistic accomplishment you help create,” Burrows added. “You clearly are a part of making the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music a world-class musical institution.”

In March, Sieck co-directed the Concert Choir and Cantala at the 2014 American Choral Directors Association North Central Regional Conference in Des Moines, Iowa.

“You clearly are a part of making the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music a world-class musical institution.”
               — Provost David Burrows on Stephen Sieck

Sieck, who also serves as the music director at Neenah’s First Presbyterian Church, earned a bachelor of arts degree with a major in music from the University of Chicago and a master’s and a doctoral degree in choral conducting from the University of Illinois.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.