2019 top teachers

Tom Jesse, assistant professor of English, is one of six UWL faculty to earn the Eagle Teaching Excellence Award.

Thomas Jesse, assistant professor of English, is one of six UWL faculty to earn the Eagle Teaching Excellence Award.

This is third in a series of profiles on this year’s Eagle Teaching Excellence Award winners

There is no doubt UWL faculty members make a major difference in the lives and academic experiences of students. This year UWL’s Provost Office received more than 600 nominations from UWL students to recognize excellent teachers.

From these nominations, a committee selected six faculty members as the 2019 Eagle Teaching Excellence Award winners. Their names were announced at the end of spring semester and as part of spring commencement. They will also be recognized among colleagues at the Chancellor’s All-University Address in fall.

The winners are:

Nilakshi Borah ~ Finance
Mary Hamman ~ Economics
Tom Jesse ~ English Education
Terry Smith ~ Communication Studies
Meredith Thomsen ~ Biology
Nathan Warnberg ~ Mathematics & Statistics

This is the third in a series of stories profiling the winners.

Thomas Jesse joins students in the process of inquiry

Thomas Jesse, assistant professor of English, loves learning with his students — listening to their ideas, responding to their interpretations, and working alongside them to make sense of the texts and concepts they are studying.

“In my classes, I want students to understand that knowledge is always negotiated, in process, under revision; it’s never fixed or stable,” he says. “So my favorite moments in the classroom are those where we all roll up our sleeves and dig into a dense reading or a complex cultural issue together, committed to a process of inquiry that incorporates multiple voices and perspectives in the search for meaning.”

Jesse just completed his fourth year at UWL after spending five years teaching English at a large public high school outside of Orlando, Florida and pursing a doctoral degree. Jesse earned his degree in American literature at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, where he also taught courses in introductory and advanced composition, American poetry, and contemporary American literature.

Jesse’s “home base” is the English Department, but he is also affiliated with the School of Education. He regularly teaches courses in two subject areas: American Literature and English Education. These courses range from introductory general education offerings to specialized courses designed for English majors. Part of his teaching load is also dedicated to supervising English Education student teachers as they work with middle and high school students across the greater La Crosse area.