The Committee to Enhance Learning and Teaching at Valparaiso University has selected Robert Clark, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, and Douglas Tougaw, Ph.D., professor of electrical and computer engineering, as the recipients of the Valparaiso University Excellence in Teaching Award for 2015–2016. 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.

Professor Clark earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005. He believes that being a mentor is a critical part of his vocation and an integral part of his identity as a teacher-scholar both inside and outside of the classroom. Bridging the gap between professor and student, Professor Clark invests time in listening to his students and offers personalized feedback to help them grow personally and professionally in and beyond college.

Professor Tougaw earned his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 1995 and his MBA from Valparaiso University in 2005. Dedicated to researching and implementing the best educational tools and experiences for his students, Professor Tougaw places an emphasis on active learning in his courses. He applies a “spiral of learning” method, giving students the opportunity to gain an experience, reflect on that experience, generalize and abstract the lessons learned, and then transfer their knowledge to other contexts.

Nominees included:

  • Assistant Professor Julie Brandy, College of Nursing and Health Professions
  • Associate Professor Lydia Brauer, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Associate Professor George Pati, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Associate Professor Jennifer Prough, Christ College — The Honors College

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.

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