Eagle teaching excellence award winners announced
Six UW-La Crosse faculty members are being recognized for excellence in teaching. The Provost Office received approximately 800 teacher nominations from UWL students for the 2018 Eagle Teaching Excellence Awards. A UWL committee selected the winners.
These six faculty members will be recognized at Spring Commencement on Sunday, May 13, and at the Chancellor’s All-University Address in the fall.
The winners are:
- Stephen Brokaw, Marketing
- Laurie Cooper Stoll, Sociology
- Whitney George, Mathematics & Statistics
- Christine Hippert, Archaeology & Anthropology
- Renee Redman, Biology
- Leslie Rogers, Educational Studies
Stephen Brokaw, professor, Marketing
Started at UWL: January 1990
Teaches: I taught international marketing for 15 years. I now teach the Capstone in marketing management.
Background: I came here from my doctoral program at Florida State. Before that I worked in industry after finishing my Bachelor of Science degree at Indiana.
Favorite part of teaching?
The students. First, last, always. I decided to work toward a doctoral degree because I wanted to work with people interested in marketing. I went into teaching because I wanted to work with ambitious people who, over time, would keep me feeling young because they are. And they have. It is important both to introduce students to the material and how those materials connect to the world of business. Within those goals, I try to help them develop skills that will serve them both professionally and personally well into their futures. Over the years I have been blessed with many alums who stay in touch; to see them progress in life and career has not kept me feeling young. But it has made me proud to have been a part of their time at UWL. It has given me much to appreciate about being a teacher: seeing the learning in current students and the use of the learning to have a successful and happy life as alums.
Laurie Cooper Stoll, associate professor, Sociology
Started at UWL: January 2012
Teaches: In specialty areas of race, gender, intersectionality, education, and social justice.
Background: Prior to moving to La Crosse, I was a doctoral student at Loyola University in Chicago where I earned my doctoral degree in sociology and a graduate concentration in women’s and gender studies. When I joined the faculty at UWL, I had already been teaching sociology courses at several universities in Chicago and Memphis since 2002. Long before I was an academic, I worked in the private sector in both the healthcare and financial services industries. I even ran my own small business for a number of years.
Favorite part of teaching? Mentoring students. It is the number one reason I do what I do. As a first-generation, non-traditional college student, I experienced firsthand the value and importance of strong faculty-student mentoring relationships. Watching a student grow academically is rewarding, but I love witnessing a student find their voice, claim their space, and work with others to discover how to bring their own unique talents and abilities to bear on the social problems we face today.
Christine Hippert, associate professor, Archaeology and Anthropology
Started at UWL: Fall 2007
Teaches: Two general education courses, ANT 212 Search for Economic Justice and ANT 202 Contemporary Global Issues, along with capstone classes in the cultural anthropology emphasis major and anthropology minor. I teach additional courses that align with my research interests: Anthropology of Food, Peoples and Cultures of Latin America, Medical Anthropology, and International Development and Culture Change. I have also led international study abroad programs in Bolivia (summer 2009) and Dominican Republic (spring break 2012).
Background: I have an eclectic academic and professional background. I graduated from Clark University, in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1994, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Spanish, and education. Before getting my graduate degrees in anthropology and public health from the University of Pittsburgh in 2007, I worked in a number of different organizations and programs. For example, I was an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer with the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault; I worked as an outdoor wilderness instructor in southern Utah with adjudicated teens; and as a behavioral health research associate, I modified a Sicilian program for a U.S.-based organization that provides assistance with daily living activities for people with developmental disabilities. All of these positions gave me experience with developing curriculum and teaching people with a variety of different abilities.
Favorite part of teaching?
Growing up in a multiracial family taught me — sometimes quite painfully — that my own life experiences didn’t necessarily mirror the experiences of others. My undergraduate years filled my life with people, courses, and opportunities that helped me learn more about living in a global world. I’ve been lucky to have had great models of undergraduate teaching, and I strive to take what I learned from them and apply it in my own classroom. My favorite part of teaching is helping students see the connections between themselves and people all over the world. Whether I’m helping students make sense of other people’s beliefs and practices in another country, or involving them in community engagement to help them learn more about diverse experiences right here in La Crosse, I enjoy seeing those light-bulbs turn on when they start to understand differences while simultaneously connecting to people’s humanity.
Whitney George, assistant professor, Mathematics & Statistics
Started at UWL: Fall 2014
Teaches: I typically teach two general education courses such as College Algebra, Calculus, or Mathematics for Decision Making, along with one upper division course, such as Topology.
Background: Prior to teaching at UWL, I was an assistant professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania.
Favorite part of teaching?
I enjoy seeing students have those “ah-ha” moments and knowing that I helped them achieve this. But, my ultimate favorite thing about teaching is seeing the smiles on students’ faces when they finally understand a concept. Many of my students have negative experiences with math and for many of them, I will be their last math professor. Being able to give them a positive experience to reflect upon is a great feeling.
Renee Redman, senior lecturer, Biology
Started at UWL: Fall 2005
Teaches: A variety of courses depending on the semester and department needs. As a cell biologist, my favorite class, is of course, cell biology. I also teach lectures in our general biology course for majors (BIO 105), as well as anatomy and physiology labs, and occasionally genetic labs.
Background: I received my doctoral degree in cell, molecular, and structural biology from Northwestern University. I knew early on in my career that I loved teaching. So, during my post-doc, I began teaching an evening biology class to nursing students at Morton Community College and continued there even after I became a member of the research faculty in the Department of Pharmacolgy at Northwestern University Medical School where I worked on neurotransmitter release. I left Chicago to join the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for eight years teaching cell biology, genetics, anatomy and physiology, and general biology and then moved to La Crosse in 2004.
Favorite part of teaching? The students. They make me laugh, they make me smile, they keep me on my toes, and I learn something from them every semester. There is nothing more rewarding than to challenge a student, see them struggle with a concept, apply what they have learned, and then figure it out and succeed. I tell my students that they are supposed to struggle; it’s not supposed to be easy. And, in the end, they are better critical thinkers because of it.
Leslie Rogers, assistant professor of Educational Studies
Started at UWL: Fall 2013
Teaches: Several special education courses (e.g., SPE 401, SPE 340, and SPE 463), as well as courses and field supervision designed to prepare aspiring pre-service teachers to teach diverse learners at the middle level (EDS 445 and 452).
Background: I earned my doctoral degree in special education from Vanderbilt University in 2010. My PK-12 teaching experience was primarily focused at the middle and high school level (suburban areas in Wisconsin and Virginia). I also have experience working with international students. I worked as a behavior management consultant for Pk-12 students and their families in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, and with Korean undergraduate pre-service teachers in Busan, South Korea.
Favorite part of teaching? I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to engage students in critical discussions related to improving the post Pk-12 outcomes for all students, and particularly for students with disabilities. Our UWL pre-service teachers are incredibly curious and passionate about how to improve educational opportunities for this group of students who have historically not had such opportunities and resources. I love pushing students to answer the questions: Who are you reaching? Who are you not reaching? What else should you do? Be curious. Reflect and take action.