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Valparaiso University’s Committee to Enhance Learning and Teaching has selected Mark Budnik, Kevin Jantzi and Lissa Yogan as recipients of the Excellence in Teaching Award for 2013-2014.

The award recognizes outstanding faculty who demonstrate teaching excellence, with particular attention to excellence in any of three areas: curriculum/course development, pedagogy and faculty-student rapport. Each award winner will receive funding for a pedagogical project intended to promote excellence in teaching on the Valparaiso University campus.

“We are extremely proud of the excellent teachers we have at Valparaiso University,” said Rick Gillman, assistant provost for faculty affairs. “We are pleased to have been able to expand both the number and value of our teaching awards this year so that we could recognize both more individuals and more diverse contributions to the teaching and learning enterprise. As always, it was difficult for the committee to select the three winners from among the outstanding pool of nominees.”

Budnik, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, was awarded for his excellence in faculty-student rapport. Budnik generates enthusiasm in his students, mentors students in their personal and spiritual development, and uses innovative techniques to enhance student learning. He has also received multiple grants in pedagogical funding to transition his classes from traditional lectures to a lecture-laboratory format which focuses on active, problem-based learning.

Yogan, associate professor of sociology and criminology, was recognized for curriculum/course development. Throughout her career, Yogan has taught many different sociology courses at different levels and various delivery formats. She sets standards and develops rubrics to help students achieve academic growth and development.

Jantzi, associate professor in chemistry, received the honor for his excellent pedagogical work. Jantzi encourages his students to shift their thinking from memorizing chemistry facts to critically thinking about chemistry concepts. His teaching methods help students think about the material in different ways and reinforce fundamental concepts.

Nominees for the Excellence in Teaching Award included:

  • Associate Professor Mark Bartusch, Department of Theology
  • Assistant Professor Julie Brandy, College of Nursing
  • Assistant Professor Kevin Goebbert, Department of Geography and Meteorology
  • Associate Professor Stacy Hoult-Saros, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
  • Lecturer Edward Upton, Humanities, Christ College