Regents honor Dr. Peggy James
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents honored two professors and one academic program with Regents Teaching Excellence Awards Friday, June 7. Meeting at UW-Milwaukee, the Regents celebrated the honorees' outstanding teaching achievements with the system's highest recognition for faculty and academic staff.
The 2013 recipients are:
Peggy James, associate professor, Politics, Philosophy and Law, UW-Parkside. A member of the UW-Parkside faculty since 1988, Professor James said three themes are central to her teaching philosophy: development of citizenship; an emphasis on wisdom rather than knowledge; and the continuing recognition of individual identity in the educational process. For many years, she co-directed the Center for International Studies, where she supervised the international studies certificate and managed the study abroad program. She has led student service learning tours to Chiapas, Mexico, and initiated a partnership with Amawtay Wasi, the Intercultural University of the Indigenous Nationalities and Peoples of Ecuador. She created the co-curricular programming for national and global citizenship, including the Water for Peace campus initiative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She revived UW-Parkside's honors program after nearly a decade of dormancy and served as its director from 1995-2000. She is a two-time winner of the Stella Gray Teaching Excellence Award, UW-Parkside's highest academic honor and was a Wisconsin Teaching Scholar in 2009-10.
Christopher Coe, professor, Psychology, UW-Madison. For 25 years, Professor Coe has taught the popular Psychology 450 course "Animal Behavior--The Primates," where students ponder how the behavior and biology of our closest animal relatives can inform understanding of the human condition. Coe said his teaching style is designed to "foster the abiding belief that through the knowledge, we gain wisdom, meaningful to us as individuals and as citizens invested in our community." Coe, who directs the Harlow Primate Laboratory, is recognized as one of the founding fathers of PsychoNeuroImmunology, as evidenced by his receipt in 2001 of the Norman Cousins Award, the premier honor in his field. His innovative research program affords many opportunities for students. Previous honors include the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Hilldale Award for outstanding teaching and scholarly achievements.
Department of Biology, UW-La Crosse. The Department of Biology currently educates more than 1,100 Biology majors annually--over a tenth of the UW-L undergraduate population. It also mentors 40-60 graduate students. The department has developed a model of collaborative teaching to improve student learning at every level. In this model, Biology faculty work together in course planning and design, implementation in the classroom, and course assessment and enhancement. Student learning is supported by incorporating inquiry and active learning throughout the curriculum, and pioneering new teaching approaches. Recognizing that the best way to learn science is through hands-on engagement, students are involved in research projects both in course labs and independent undergraduate research projects. The department also has a strong commitment to increasing the involvement of traditionally underrepresented students through leadership roles in programs such as the McNair Scholars.
Award recipients are selected for their strong commitment to teaching and learning; use of effective teaching strategies to enhance student learning; and significant impact on students' intellectual development.
"It's a privilege to recognize these deserving educators who are dedicated to preparing their students not only for success in the classroom and laboratory, but also for success in meeting the challenges of the world beyond their college campuses. They each set an exceptional example," said UW System President Kevin Reilly.
Photo courtesy of UW-Milwaukee.