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The Committee to Enhance Learning and Teaching at Valparaiso University has selected Professor Jan Westrick, Assistant Professor Stacy Maugans, and Assistant Professor Shahin Nudehi as the recipients of the Valparaiso University Excellence in Teaching Award for 2014-2015. The awards recognize a number of outstanding undergraduate faculty members each year for general teaching excellence, with particular attention to course development, pedagogy, and mentoring/advising.

“At Valparaiso University, teaching is central. Though teaching is a daily task, finding time to consciously think about it is difficult,” Maugans said. “Part of the intriguing nature of teaching is that there is always more to learn. I have learned so much from Valpo faculty, and I know that I still have much to learn from others.”

Maugans earned her Mus.D. from Indiana University in 2000. She believes that mentoring goes beyond simply helping students choose their classes. She assists students in making connections between academic expectations, co-curricular activities, and future plans, while being mindful of the students’ individual experiences.

Nudehi earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 2005. He strives to inspire students to be good stewards by providing them with opportunities to be involved in engineering challenges such as renewable energy.

Westrick earned her Ed.D. from the University of Minnesota in 2002. She uses innovative, research-based pedagogy in her classes, and she engages colleagues in the process of thinking about their own approaches to pedagogy.

The nominees included:

  • Assistant Professor Salena Anderson, English Department
  • Assistant Professor Julie Brandy, College of Nursing and Health Professions
  • Professor Randa Duvick, Foreign Languages and Literatures Department
  • Associate Professor Allison Schuette, English Department
  • Associate Professor David Scupham, Biology Department

Each award carries a monetary stipend of $1,500 plus an additional $1,500 for each recipient to fund a pedagogical project intended to promote excellence in teaching on the Valparaiso University campus.